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Ekstrom Library

Affordable Learning Resources: Affordable Learning

What is Affordable Learning?

Affordable Learning Resources are high-quality, no-or-low cost educational resources. These resources include:

  • library-licensed resources
  • course reserves
  • open educational resources (OERs)
  • public domain materials

Open Educational Resources Guide

Texbook Costs

The Chart shows percentage change Since 1978 for Educational Books, Medical Services, New Home Prices, Consumer Price Indes (Baseline inflation).Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 250%. New Home Prices went up by 325%. Medical Expences increased by 575%, while Educational books/Textbook topped the chart at 812%.

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According to a study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, textbook prices rose by three times the rate of inflation from 2002 to 2012 (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2013, p.6). Another survey found that 65% of all students said they did not buy a textbook due to high costs, and of those who did not purchase a textbook, 94% expressed a concern that not having a textbook will negatively impact their grades (Senack, 2014, p.4). Furthermore, Senack (2014) stated that almost half of the surveyed students said that textbook costs did affect how many and which classes they took each semester. Faculty are aware of the problem, a 2018 survey by Babson Survey Research Group showed that over 60% of faculty surveyed believe that textbook costs are a critical concern for students. Many of the survey respondents already undertake textbook cost reduction measures, such as encouraging students to buy used textbooks, assembling their own course materials, and selecting less expensive textbooks (Ellis, Lindsay).

Ellis, L. (2019, October 18). For This Campus, Choosing Textbooks Has Gotten a Lot More Complicated. Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from

McMurtrie, B. (2019, January 18). Professors Worry About the Cost of Textbooks, but Free Alternatives Pose Their Own Problems. Chronicle of Higher Education, p. N.PAG. Retrieved from

Senack, E. (2014). Fixing the broken textbook market. US Public Interest Research Group, Student PIRG. Retrieved from:

US Government Accountability Office. (2013). College textbooks: Students have greater access to textbook information. Publication No.        GAO-13-368. Retrieved from:

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University of Louisville Guide on Open and Affordable Educational Resources is licensed Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License