According to the U.S. Department of education, the cost of higher education for students increased 42% from 2000 to 2010, and the average cost of materials is now at $1,200 per year as reported by the College Board. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that 7 in 10 students didn't purchase a textbook because it was too expensive.
A recent report from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and the Student PIRGs further shows the effect of the high cost of textbooks and materials on students,
Through alternative textbook solutions, the cost of student materials can be drastically reduced. Open textbooks also give instructors the ability to customize the materials, creating the "perfect" textbook instead of being bound to traditional print resources.
There are already faculty at OU using alternative textbooks in their classrooms; you find out more about them on the 2015-2016 Awards tab and the 2014-2015 Awards tab. The 2016-2017 Awards list is also posted and will soon be updated with project descriptions.
OU is seen as a leader in OER and alternative textbook initiatives, but many other academic institutions also have successful initiatives. For example: