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Textbook Affordability : Home


Affordable Course Content

Graph of cost increases 1998-2018Increasingly, students are struggling with textbook costs because those costs (and tuition) have risen over the past 20 years approximately four times faster than inflation. Nationally, it is estimated that students spend $600 per semester just on textbooks and course materials. Given that this is on top of the fees they already pay for tuition, room and board, it creates another barrier to graduation. There is a growing awareness of the challenge in affording a college education and all that it entails, and students and faculty across the country are increasingly interested in identifying and adopting low-cost solutions. William & Mary faculty, staff and students are banding together to seek solutions to the textbook affordability issue.


Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. W&M Libraries are interested in helping the campus community to learn about and incorporate OER's into their courses. For more info, contact the Digital Scholarship Librarian or use the links below to find OER sources.

Faculty can also pursue integrating OpenStax textbooks and other OER resources through Barnes & Noble’s Faculty Enlight, which is its faculty textbook and course materials tool. Using this tool (which can be integrated with Blackboard), faculty can link to customized course materials such as OER’s and course packs. They can also get estimates on student textbook costs, see what has been adopted for the course in prior semesters and even see what other universities have adopted. Read more on their courseware information.

Read some scholarly studies on OER:

Colvard, Nicholas and C. Edward Watson. (2018) The Impact of Open Educational Resources on Various Student Success Metrics. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 30 (2): 262-275.

VIVA. (2018) VIVA Open Textbook Network: Student Savings Exceed Expectations


We asked W&M students what they wished faculty knew about textbook prices.


Help spread awareness of this initiative!

Access. Equity. Knowledge. Supporting student success. Textbook Affordability at William and Mary.

Download the poster and put it where people will see it. 

Open Education Resources initiatives