Education News

Rice University-Based OpenStax Expands Program For Free College Textbooks

Textbook prices for college students rise more and more every year. But one Houston-based organization is working to lighten that load.

A college student would have to work 28 hours at minimum wage to be able to afford just one $200 textbook. When a full class schedule consists of four to six classes, both the bill and the hours add up.

Rice University-based OpenStax helps students by providing them with certain books for free. This year, they selected eleven new campuses to add to their institutional partnership program.

"The two main criteria were the number of students that they could impact and their demonstrated commitment to using open educational resources to drive student success and graduation rates," says Nicole Finkbeiner of OpenStax.

Finkbeiner says that free educational resources, such as books, can positively impact a student's college experience.

"They have higher grades, they don't drop out of the classes, they take more courses because they have access to a free textbook — and they have immediate access to that textbook on the first day of class."

OpenStax has saved students across the country about $66 million. More than half of that was saved last year alone. Together, students across the eleven new member campuses are expected to save over $4 million per year.

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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