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$1,200 a year for textbooks?!

It’s that time of year again. Classes are starting and college students’ jaws are dropping when they see the prices of their textbooks.


It’s no big surprise. College textbooks are incredibly expensive — to the tune of $1,200 a year.1 What happens when textbooks cost this much? Students need to take out more loans, take fewer courses, or even forego purchasing the books altogether.

Open textbooks are part of the solution. They’re digital, openly-licensed textbooks made available for free online — and they have the capacity to save students hundreds of dollars each year.

And they’re powered by flexible Creative Commons licensing, so these educational materials can be easily accessed and used, modified to meet students’ needs, printed on-demand, and remixed with millions of other open educational resources.

It’s clear that open textbooks are taking off. The OpenStax project at Rice University will save students $25 million this year.2 And a major university in Maryland has jettisoned expensive commercial textbooks altogether — replacing 100% of its undergraduate textbooks with no-cost digital resources.3

Together with many organizations and grassroots reformers across the country, Creative Commons is fighting for the creation and adoption of open textbooks. But we can’t do it without you. Will you sign on in support of the Open Textbook movement today?

1. Quick Guide: College Costs, bigfuture by The College Board
2. Open texts predicted to save students $25 million, eCampus News
3. Embedded digital resources are in, traditional texts out at UMUC, UMUC Global Media Center

Book by Anna Ho on The Noun Project. CC BY 3.0 US
Unlock by Alexandr Cherkinsky on The Noun Project. CC BY 3.0 US