Faculty Can Save Students Money on Textbooks

Faculty members play an important role in minimizing textbook costs for students. Here are some actions you can take to help reduce the cost of educational materials for your students.

    • Replace expensive course materials with library resources. Ebooks for the Classroom+ is an excellent place to find ebooks that USF Students can use at no cost. Curriculum Builder will allow faculty to search articles and other library content for immediate use in Canvas.

    • Use Course Reserves at the Library. The USF Tampa Library purchases limited copies of textbooks for courses with an enrollment of 100 or more. Additionally, faculty can request that items be placed on reserve for specific courses.


    • Limit the use of adaptive learning technology such as WileyPlus, Connect, and MyLab. These mandatory online tools add significant, fixed costs, and have no resale value for students.

    • Avoid adopting custom textbooks. Cheaper used and ebook versions of custom texts are rarely available. Because they are often course specific and less durable, they typically have little buy back value for students.

    • Use the same textbook. Before requiring a new edition, review the text to ensure that the difference in material is substantial enough to warrant assigning a newer, more expensive book.

    • Participate in etextbook pilots sponsored by the University where available.

    • Submit textbook orders on time. Textbook orders must be submitted at the deadline established by the Provost’s Office. This gives students time to shop around for the lowest prices.

    • Limit the use of “recommended” textbooks. Students may feel they need to purchase these items in addition to required items.

    • Consider authoring an open access textbook. The USF Libraries and Innovative Education fund and support faculty to create open access textbooks.


The USF Libraries have access to thousands of e-books covering a variety of disciplines.
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Millions of course readings in the form of print books, e-journal articles, etc.
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Open Access
Openly-licensed digital textbooks that are offered for free online.
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Look around for the best deals and compare prices among online retailers.
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If you are within 12 hours of completing your baccalaureate degree this Summer, the USF Libraries may be able to save you money. USF is launching a NEW pilot 2017 USF Summer Degree Completion Scholarship program. Very soon, our Office of Academic Advocacy (academicadvocacy@usf.edu) will begin contacting eligible students.

Information concerning the textbook portion of the program will be released throughout the weekend and revised often. Stay tuned!