The Office of Faculty Development

Low and No-Cost Materials

Students spend, on average, somewhere between $900 (Fischer, et. al. 2015) and $1270 (Martin, et. al. 2017) per year on college textbooks.  Student surveys regularly show that students make decisions about which courses to take based on materials cost (Martin, et. al. 2017) or may choose not to buy a textbook that is too expensive even knowing that it will negatively impact their academic success (STCC 2021, Stein, et. al. 2017). 

Studies have suggested that use of open education resources (OER), which are free to use, correlate to a decrease in withdrawal rates (Delgado, et. al. 2019).  Students and faculty both report that OER materials are generally as high in quality as commercial publisher materials.  Students report that they have been able to enroll in courses specifically due to the use of OER materials and that they have been able to enroll in increased units due to the adoption of OER materials in some of the courses in which they enrolled.

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