To reduce the financial burden of buying college textbooks, the Class of 2019 created an endowment to benefit the University Libraries’ open access textbook initiative. Funds will help the Libraries as they support the review, creation and adoption of open access textbooks by university instructors, providing significant cost savings for students.
Most students take three to five classes per semester, purchasing new books for each course that result in average expenses of more than $1,200 per year. Because of these costs, 65% of students decide at some point not to buy a class textbook, risking their grades.
Open access textbooks allow Aggies to obtain a digital, open-licensed textbook to read, download and print for free. When tested on an introductory biology course, open access textbooks saved students $600,000 collectively. “Studies show that open access textbooks can result in grade improvements because all students have immediate and no-cost access to the text,” said David Carlson, dean of the University Libraries. “This format also allows professors to tailor material to course needs. It’s a win for the classroom and the pocketbook!”