Skip to Main Content

Open Textbooks: For Administrators

For those interested in using or creating open textbooks

Student cost savings

On average, students save more than $100 per course, per semester when assigned an open textbook in place of a traditional one, according Student PIRG (Public Interest Research Group). The group has  done extensive research on making textbooks more affordable as well as the growing costs and concerns regarding traditional print textbooks.

© 2016 by Student Organizing, Inc. Covering the Cost. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


Success stories

Tidewater Community College's Z-Degree uses only OER resources

  • $0 textbook cost
  • Drop rate decrease of 6%
  • Approx. 25% savings to student through completion of degree

Pros and Cons


  • Reduces cost of education
  • Networks, like the OTN, are growing adoption rate through workshops and are measuring impact
  • Promotes collaboration and participation among educators
  • Natural complement to online courses


  • ‚ÄčAbundance of resources make searching and choosing potentially lengthy process
  • Some subject areas lack resource availability
  • Some textbooks are not kept current
  • Accessibility is not consistent among textbooks


Penn State logoPenn State is a member of the Open Textbook Network

As a member, the university will be doing the following:

  • hosting a live streaming workshop during Open Access Week (Oct. 23-29) about adopting open textbooks
  • filling a full-time open education librarian position
  • collecting measurable evidence of open textbooks' impact on PSU students.
  • encouraging PSU faculty to review peers' textbooks in the OTN