November 9, 2015
After finding that the high cost of textbook represents a significant problem for students in higher education, Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN) and Angus King (I-ME), and Representatives Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) and Jared Polis (D-CO)have introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act (H.R. 3721/S. 2176) into both houses of Congress. The purpose of the act, which was introduced on October 8, 2015, is to “expand the use of open textbooks in order to achieve savings for students.”
The text of the act states that the cost of new textbooks has increased by 82% between 2002 and 2012, but the use of open educational resources (OERS) in lieu of traditional textbooks could potentially reduce textbook costs by 80-100%.
Under the Affordable College Textbook Act, grants would be awarded to support pilot programs that expand the use of OERS in higher education. In order to receive the grant, faculty members would have to submit a proposal that outlines a plan for promoting and tracking the use of the proposed OER, as well as a plan for promoting the general use of OERS among institutions of higher learning. Special consideration would be given to proposals that have the possibility to achieve the highest level of savings for students, produce OERS that are easily adaptable for use at other institutions, and are created in partnership with other on campus entities, such as college bookstores. A full digital copy of any resources created through the grant would be made freely available to the public.
Read the full text of Affordable College Textbook Act to learn more.