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Low & No-Cost Educational Resources

Guide to finding and using low & no-cost materials, including open educational resources.

Switching to Low & No-Cost Resources

At UC Merced, Undergraduate Admissions recommends students budget $1,047 annually for textbooks and supplies. The price of course materials may be the only way faculty can help reduce higher education costs for their students. Open educational resources (OER), low and no-cost materials can alleviate the impact of textbook costs and are increasingly used as quality alternatives.

To learn more about replacing commercial textbooks with OER, view published research by the Open Education Group and OER Research Fellows. For a snapshot of published OER research findings, visit The Review Project.

Benefits of OER

24/7 Access

Students can access course materials from any internet connection.

First Day Access

All students have access to course materials by day 1 of class, if not earlier.

Remove Financial Obstacles

Remove the financial barriers that may result in students not purchasing materials and eliminate stress around locating more affordable or discounted copies.

Customizable Materials

Materials can be customized to match the teaching styles and the learning needs of students.

Faculty Perspectives: Affordability Increases Access, Equity, Flexibility, Relevance, & Engagement (2:30)


Affordable Instruction Materials, presented by San Francisco State University (2:30.)