Nearly 1.5 million college students to use free textbooks this school year, save $145 million

HOUSTON  – Nearly 1.5 million U.S. college students are expected to save an estimated $145 million in the 2017-18 academic year by using free textbooks from OpenStax, the Rice University-based publisher of open education resource materials.

“The adoption of OpenStax nationally is taking hold and saving students and families money,” said Daniel Williamson, managing director of OpenStax. “Individual faculty as well as institutions can make tremendous gains in college affordability by using OpenStax textbooks.”

Daniel Williamson

OpenStax projects this year’s savings to be nearly double last year’s impact on students’ wallets. Since 2012 OpenStax has saved nearly 3.5 million students more than $340 million by offering 29 textbooks for the most-attended college courses. The free, peer-reviewed, openly licensed books include College Physics, Biology, Concepts of Biology, University Physics, Principles of Microeconomics, Psychology, American Government and College Algebra, among others.

By this fall more than 11,000 faculty members at 4,200 universities or colleges will have adopted OpenStax textbooks for 8,500 courses.

“Free, peer-reviewed and openly licensed textbooks used at scale are only the first step,” Williamson said. “Quality, openly licensed content enables further innovation in ways that we’ve already seen: faculty are localizing it to meet their needs and building communities of practice, and partner companies are using it to build the next generation of adaptive learning tools. And yet, there are more opportunities to innovate and improve student learning with OpenStax that are still to be discovered or explored. This promise of innovation is the real value of OpenStax.””

OpenStax expects to meet or beat its goal of saving U.S. college students $500 million by 2020.
OpenStax is made possible by the support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Ann and John Doerr, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the 20 Million Minds Foundation, the Maxfield Foundation, the Calvin K. Kanzanjian Foundation and the Leon Lowenstein Foundation.

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