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Low & No-Cost Educational Resources

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

Rising Textbook Costs

Over the past 2 decades, college textbook prices have skyrocketed, resulting in documented effects on student academic success, with nearly all students seeking to reduce textbook costs through a variety of means, and self-reported behaviors such as not purchasing textbooks, or textbook sharing

College Textbook Consumer Price Index 2001- 2021

Graph showing increase in Consumer Price Index for college textbooks from 2001 at 100.00 to 235.231 in 2021.

Effects of Textbook Costs

In 2018, over 21,000 students participated in the Florida Virtual Campus Student Textbook Survey, which examined how the cost of textbooks and course materials has impacted their education, purchasing behaviors and academic success. 

A key finding of the 2018 survey indicates the high cost of textbooks continues to negatively impact student access, success, and completion.

graph showing the impact of textbook costs are: not purchasing the required textbook (64.2%); taking fewer courses (42.8%); not registering the for a specific course (40.5%); earning a poor grade (35.6%); and dropping a course (22.9%) 

Student Perspectives: How Much Have You Spent on a Textbook? (4:46)


Learn about how Open Educational Resources help 2-year community and technical college students in the classroom and how they make college more affordable. Presented by Lead MN.