FACTORYVILLE -- For the first time, students starting the fall semester at Keystone College won't have to buy any textbooks.
The school, located along the Wyoming/Lackawanna County line, is giving all students iPads loaded with digital textbooks along with all the other supplies they need to start the year.
It's move in weekend at Keystone College in Factoryville. But this year there is something new. Before all students start class on Monday, they're getting an iPad preloaded with digital textbooks paid for out of their tuition.
"I like how it's a lot more affordable than most colleges. I didn't even think I'd get into college and now that I can get a free iPad, that's awesome," said freshman Summer Frantz.
"I think this is absolutely beautiful. They're the nicest college I've ever seen. We've been to a few. This is the best," said Colleen Frantz of Tunkhannock.
Once the students get these iPads back to their home or dorm room and log in, they will find all the digital textbooks that are available for the classes they're taking preloaded on the device.
"I'm excited. I'd much rather the technology since I grew up with technology than having to scroll through a text book to find something I can't find," said Summer Frantz.
And if a textbook for a class isn't available for the iPad, the school is providing the book itself, plus lab coats, art supplies, and more. It's all included in tuition.
"It basically takes the sticker shock out of buying textbooks that many students face when they come on campus," said Fran Calpin with Keystone College.
Keystone is providing all this after finding many students skipped buying some necessary textbooks because they cost too much: $1,200 to $1,800 a year.
A college bookstore company, Follet Higher Education, designed this iPad program because it found the same thing nationally.
"Many, many students don't go with their books at all. More than 70 percent of students will not buy at least one of their course materials that's required for class," said T.J. Cochran with Follet Higher Education.
While this is a first for northeastern Pennsylvania, Follet imagines more schools will be doing this soon.
"We think this is going to be the future of the bookstore business," Cochran said.
Each semester, the student's iPads will be updated with the new textbooks for their classes. They'll get a new iPad every two years, then get to take it with them when they graduate.