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The price of textbooks has skyrocketed more than three times the rate of inflation for decades...Using OER solves this problem because the material is free online, affordable in print, and can be saved forever. Resources that would otherwise go to purchasing textbooks can be redirected toward technology, improving instruction, or reducing debt.
The rapidly rising cost of textbooks in higher education has left many students without access to the materials they need to succeed. Studies show that 93% of students who use OER do as well or better than those using traditional materials, since they have easy access to the content starting day one of the course.
Open Education © 2007 - 2018 SPARC, subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
65% of students said that they had decided against buying a textbook because it was too expensive.
The survey also found that 94% of students who had foregone purchasing a textbook were concerned that doing so would hurt their grade in a course. More than half of the students felt significant concern for their grade.
Nearly half of all students surveyed said that the cost of textbooks impacted how many/which classes they took each semester.
Students attend college seeking job preparation and/or degree attainment. Careful course selection is often necessary in order to yield the results that a student is seeking within the timeframe they are prepared to study. It is especially concerning that this process may be being undermined by high textbook costs.
82% of students felt they would do significantly better in a course if the textbook was available free online and buying a hard copy was optional. This is exactly how open textbooks are designed. Not only is the open textbook an ideal alternative to a traditional textbook from a student point of view, but it is the only product in the marketplace that can directly challenge the high prices that publishers charge for new editions. These high prices, which outpace inflation, underpin the entire textbook marketplace, and drive market conditions for other alternatives such as the used book and rental markets.