The Open Textbook Alliance is a nationwide project of the Student PIRGs uniting student leaders who are working to bring open textbooks to college campuses and protect students in the textbook market.
In Fall 2020, 65% of students skipped buying a textbook due to cost, even though 90% reported that they worried it would negatively impact their grade. Students want access to their materials and faculty want students to succeed, yet the majority of students can not afford the basics. From the 1970s until the mid-2010s, textbook prices increased at three times the rate of inflation. While this steep curve has leveled off in the past few years, the textbook market remains broken. Open textbooks, free materials written and released under an open license, provide an exciting opportunity to not just help students save money but fix this broken marketplace.
Our goals are to reshape the textbook market to where open textbooks can compete with, and eventually replace, traditional textbooks, and defend students as consumers in the textbook marketplace. As the educational course materials space changes rapidly, students and educators alike are looking for the most accessible options that foster student success and protect student’s data safety and choices.