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Textbook Affordability

Faculty Options

One way that faculty can help reduce the cost of a college education and positively impact student academic performance is to remove the barrier of high cost, commercially produced textbooks. One large scale research study reports that students who have access to no/low cost course materials enjoy higher GPA, increased retention, reduced time to graduation, and decreased student debt.

There are several options for faculty to support textbook affordability efforts.

  1. See if the library can offer your textbook as an electronic book.  To date, faculty have saved students hundreds of thousands of dollars by using library ebooks as one-to-one replacements of the assigned course text.  The library will check for ebook candidates that allow unlimited users and offer favorable digital rights management (DRM). 
    Contact your Subject or Campus Librarian for more information.

  2. Join faculty who have adopted an open textbook. Open educational resources are openly-licensed digital textbooks that are freely available online. Open textbooks allow anyone to read, copy, distribute, or modify the course content at no cost. Check out OpenStax hosted by Rice University as one resource for GEP and introductory course textbooks.
  3. Donate a copy of your print textbook to the library.  We recognize that not every textbook has an open or library-sourced equivalent, so an alternative is to place a copy of your print textbook on Reserves.  Most textbooks will circulate for two hours, providing access to students who haven’t yet purchased the textbook or intend to rely solely on the Reserves copy.
    Contact your Subject or Campus Librarian to donate currently assigned textbooks to the library. 

  4. Work with the bookstore! Submit your assigned course textbook(s) on time to allow students to shop the cost of course materials and the bookstore to locate used and rental textbooks. Check the textbook adoption deadlines here.   Also, be judicious when using customized textbooks or newer editions.  Customizing often drives up the price and prohibits re-sale of the text back to the bookstore.  Instead, work with your Subject or Campus Librarian to see if resources can be found to accomplish the goal of the customized textbook. If older editions of the course text are acceptable, state that on the syllabus.
  5. Let students (and us!) know what you’re doing to drive down costs. 

    IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are using any type of zero-cost alternative to a book, please be sure to indicate in AIP that the book is available for free through the UCF Libraries.