The outrageous price that college students have to pay for textbooks has been a burden for decades, but never before has the cost of textbooks been as painfully high as it is today. It is a growing concern that there are an ever-increasing number of students that have to go without their required course text because they can simply no longer afford it. The higher education community must take bold new steps to combat this issue and LeadMN is committed to driving that effort. 

Real Effects on Students Success
The worst part about these overpriced textbooks is the very real effects it has on whether a student can succeed in higher education. See why textbooks hurt more than just our wallets. 

Bold New Action
We want to thank Senator Al Franken for co-sponsoring legislation to address textbook affordability. Many states are or already have presented their own Open Textbook legislation. The Open Textbook Network, a network of over 100 active members from all over the country, are promoting awareness of Open Textbook and providing workshops for faculty who are interested in learning about and using them. 

Everyone is doing it – Let’s ensure we don’t fall behind.

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst: This University launched the Open Education Initiative in 2011, a competitive grant that incentives faculty to make the switch to OER’s. This program has saved students more than $1.5 million. 
  • Tidewater Community College in Virginia: This college partnered with Lumen Learning to launch a textbook-free degree in Business Administration. 98% of students said the classes were of equal or better quality than traditional courses. 
  • Tacoma Community College: This college, located in Washington State, hired a full-time staff person to serve as a resource to faculty developing and implementing open textbooks. The program has saved students more than $635,000 is the first two years.  
  • Dalton State University: This university, located in Georgia, recently received Affordable Learning Georgia grants to launch open textbooks. Student savings are expected to be over $1 million in the first three years.  
  • University of Maryland System: The Maryland Open-Source Textbook (MOST) initiative started in 2013 as a work plan to develop faculty and assess the feasibility of open textbooks, and since then is estimated to have saved students over $1 million.  

If you need any support please contact Policy Coordinator Kayley Schoonmaker at kschoonmaker@LeadMN.org