iOPTiN program looks to save on textbook costs

Northeast State students will be able to participate in a new program this fall to reduce textbook costs.

The College, in concert with the Follett Bookstore on the Blountville campus, is introducing the iOPTiN program for fall 2016 that could potentially save students 60 to 80 percent on most textbooks.

Northeast iPad students #1
The iOPTiN program is designed to reduce textbook costs.

As designed, students will see an electronic book (eBook) cost associated with each course during the registration process. Students will have access to download eBooks and materials through the Desire 2 Learn (D2L) learning management system on the first day of class. Students will pay for eBooks through financial aid or receive a bill.

Full-term students will have a two-week period at the start of a course or semester to opt out of the eBook program. Opt out deadlines will be posted on the College’s academic calendar for other compressed semester/block schedules.

The program dovetails with the College’s iNortheast Mobile Technology initiative. The initiative was piloted during the 2015-2016 academic year when Northeast State distributed iPad mini 2 devices to Tennessee Promise students and eligible full-time students. Funded by the Northeast State Foundation and an Appalachian Regional Commission grant, the program provided 1,800 devices.

Students enrolling in credit courses at Northeast State starting fall 2016 are required to lease or purchase iPads with Apple’s iOS 9 or greater operating system and 32 GB of memory. The savings on etextbooks should more than cover the cost of the lease fee for most courses.

Starting fall 2016, the bookstore will sell iPads at an educational discount. A student ID will be required to receive the discount. Students may also purchase an iPad online at the Apple Store or retail stores that sell Apple products.

The 2016 Tennessee annual sales tax holiday is July 29 – 31. During the tax free weekend, iPads, laptops, and computers under $1,500 may be purchased without having to pay sales tax. The tax exemption not only applies to items purchased within stores, but also items purchased over the phone, Internet, or mail in which the retailer accepts the order during the tax free holiday.

Students may also lease an iPad Mini 2 through Northeast State. A lease costs $110 per semester for the 2016-2017 academic year. Students who pay their tuition and fees, as well as the iPad lease fee, may lease an iPad.

Students must sign a lease agreement, which is available for viewing at campus cashier windows. Cashiers are located in Blountville (Pierce P203A), Johnson City (JC1003), Kingsport (Blazier-Wilson Hall 107), and Elizabethton (E134). When completed, students will receive a receipt for payment or a copy of an authorization form. Students take the receipt or form to one of the identified IT service centers at each campus listed below to sign a lease and collect a leased iPad:

Blountville Campus – Pierce Building. Room P216

Kingsport – Kingsport Center for Higher Education, Room KC305

Bristol – Room BR332

Elizabethton – Room E100A

Johnson City – Room JC1097

For more information, visit or e-mail

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