The average student should budget $1250 a year for books and suppliers.
- College Board
7 in 10 students have chosen not to purchase a textbook because it was too expensive.
- Chronicle of Higher Education
Over the past two decades, textbook prices have risen at four times the rate of inflation.
On average, the cost of a new edition of a textbook is 12% higher than the previous one.
Just 5 textbook publishers control more than 80% of the 8.8 billion dollar market.
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Open Educational Resources are educational materials offered freely and openly for anyone to use. Most licenses allow resources to be shared, remixed or customized for your class. Open educational resources include textbooks, full courses, course materials, modules, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other resources used to support access to knowledge.
Large-scale open education initiatives have been successfully implemented at many institutions. See for example:
OSU began its Open Textbook Initiative in 2013, with the endeavor to make textbooks more affordable for its students. Specifically, it seeks to provide financial, technical, and editorial support for faculty members to create these new resources that will ultimately be used in OSU classrooms.
OpenStax College, a program that Rice University began in 2012, has created 20 free online textbooks that have been developed and peer-reviewed by educators. The program chose to create textbooks for those classes that enroll the most students nationally so they would be useful to the highest number of students. The program is funded through the university, several foundations, and is working with a $9.5 million grant to have a total of 21 titles by the year 2017.
The Open Textbook Library and Open Textbook Network were created through the University of Minnesota. The Open Textbook Library provides a large catalog of textbooks free to use and share. Together, schools involved in the Open Textbook Network promote student success through the use of Open Educational Resources. The Open Textbook Network reports having saved students $1.5 million.