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TCC Joins Partnership to Promote Low-Cost and Free Textbooks

Flickr user wohnai

The average full-time college student spends around $1,300 a year on books and supplies, according to the College Board.

Tulsa Community College has joined a partnership to drastically reduce those costs for students.

TCC will use materials from OpenStax, a Rice University—based nonprofit. Associate professor Jennifer Kneafsey started using their textbooks last year and says the price difference for printed books is incredible.

"For my book that my students use in non-majors biology, it is $26, and that compares with books that are over $100 that I would have had previously had access to choose for my classes," Kneafsey said.

Digital copies of the books are free. Students' reaction to Kneafsey's choice in course materials was positive.

"I feel like a rockstar being able to walk in and say, 'No, this is not a typo on the syllabus. Your book really is free,'" Kneafsey said. "It helps the student have buy-in from day one as well."

All OpenStax materials are peer-reviewed by subject-matter experts.

"It's not just something that's cobbled together," Kneafsey said.

TCC estimates students will save more than $160,000 on books in the upcoming school year. OpenStax aims to save students $500 million by 2020.