Since 2019, affordable content programs have saved students an estimated $4.9 million on textbook costs, and have replaced over 80,000 textbooks with affordable content.
Multiple affordable textbook programs have been implemented at the University of Nebraska. There are two inclusive access programs: Follett Access (Campus Bookstore) and Unizin Engage. The third program is an OER seed grant program through the STAR initiative.
Inclusive access reduces textbook costs by as much as 80%. Textbook publishers offer this cost savings to students by having a course sign up for the program and opting all students into the textbook purchase. Publishers are able to lower costs through higher volume by using this process.
Student textbooks are available in the Canvas course on day one of the class. Students are charged for the cost of the textbook on their student account bill. Students have the option to opt out of the purchase at the beginning of the course. If they opt out before the deadline they will not be charged for the text and will lose access to the Canvas textbook after the deadline passes. If a student adds a course using an inclusive access textbook after the deadline has passed, they will not be able to purchase the text at the discounted price.
The two Inclusive Access programs have saved students over $3.6 million in textbook costs.
The Campus Bookstore (Follett) Access program has saved an estimated $2.8 million and replaced over 46,000 textbooks with affordable content. Instructors who would like to participate can contact Jennifer Baack email@example.com at the Follett Campus Bookstore and ask about Inclusive Access pricing for their course.
The Engage Inclusive Access program available through our Unizin membership, has saved an estimated $891,000 and replaced over 16,000 textbooks with affordable content. Instructors can contact Brad Severa at firstname.lastname@example.org if they would like to participate in Unizin Engage.
Open Educational Resources
Open educational resources are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes. These are most often free to students or are offered at greatly reduced cost. The OER program has saved an estimated $1.2 million and replaced over 17,000 textbooks with affordable content.
Over 85 courses, 470 sections, and 82 faculty have participated in the OER program.
Instructors can contact Brad Severa at email@example.com if they would like to know more about the OER program.
Over 500 courses, 1,000 sections, and 270 faculty have participated in all three programs.
STAR: Successful Teaching with Affordable Resources
The affordable content programs are part of STAR, a campus initiative to decrease the cost of student education by making access to textbooks and course content more affordable.
STAR leverages the resources of the following organizations: Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor, University Libraries, Information Technology Services, and the Center for Transformative Teaching.
Since 2019 STAR has awarded over $150,000 for faculty OER seed grants. Funding has been provided through the Provost Office Kelly Funds and this year Women Investing in Nebraska contributed $32,490 of funding to UNL.
The STAR Team coordinates with all four University of Nebraska campuses on affordable content programs and practices.
Beginning with the Spring 2022 semester, campuses at the University of Nebraska will pilot a new course attribute in PeopleSoft and the searchable web-based course schedules. The three attributes listed below were proposed to Information Technology Services by the 2020-21 NU Student Regents and a group of Student Government representatives from each campus. Course attributes allow students and their parents/guardians to see which NU courses use free or reduced-cost digital course materials at the time of registration so as to make well-informed choices. Course marking has the strong support of UNK, UNL and UNO Student Governments and Faculty Senates.
Open Nebraska Courses and Programs:
- No Cost Materials: These digital course materials are incorporated into Canvas at no additional cost to the student. No book purchase required.
- Low Cost Materials: These digital course materials are incorporated into Canvas and cost students less than $40. No book purchase required.
- Low Cost E-Book: This reduced-cost eBook is purchased through the campus bookstore and costs a student less than $40.
Instructors can contact Brad Severa at firstname.lastname@example.org if they would like to know more about the affordable content programs. More information can be found in the Affordable Content Faculty Guide.