Strategies to reduce student costs
Some options are:
1. Always include the UC Bookstore in your conversations with publishers. UC Bookstores are charged with the responsibility to serve as the central point of contact to assess affordability, pricing consistency, deliverability, and other factors that hold publishers accountable, and integrate their proposed solutions into the University’s evolving strategies.
2. Adopt early, commit to multi-year adoptions, and/or express flexibility for multiple editions. Such adoptions can drive four critical strategies that lower cost to students.
a. Next semester’s adoptions inform this semester’s Buy Back program, returning up to 50% of the original cost to students.
b. Used books (sometimes older editions) are a finite supply; early adoptions allows UC to assertively retain or source used titles.
c. Rental programs are created for each book for each semester, based upon the projected need for future used books.
d. UC SmartBooks are our preferred digital platform offering the most significant savings as well as substantial teaching and learning features. Ingesting titles requires lead time.
3. Adopt by ISBN, and understand the format bundles and options. Consider the functionality of non-traditional materials and be clear about their necessity for success in the course.
4. When you complete your courses’ textbook adoption form, indicate all editions (on the textbook order form, under ‘Edition’, indicate ‘any’ or specific editions) which would be acceptable (older editions may be significantly cheaper than the newest).
5. When applicable, help your students consider the academic or professional impacts of choosing to keep course materials, or return/rent them.
6. Help grow students’ trust in the relevancy, reliability, and transparency of course materials information in Catalyst across their UC experience, so that they can shop early, and in an informed manner.
7. Consider adopting Open Educational Resources (copyright-free texts/materials) for applicability and quality.
8. Create e-reserve options (to make digital versions of texts available via University of Cincinnati Libraries).
9. Use course packets and publisher-customized materials advisedly and in consultation with UC Bookstores (as copyright and other costs might add significantly to the total cost.)
10. When working directly with publishers to customize materials and bundles (such as book and DVD or goggles, etc) check with the UC Bookstore manager to ensure this is a good deal. Your publisher will create a new ISBN for a custom book. This ISBN must be communicated to the UC Bookstore.
Customized publications may reduce the cost to students by limiting the total volume of material that they must purchase. Lab manuals, in particular, can be customized to the particular experiments that you plan for your students to conduct. Savings from custom packaged publications vary widely but can range up to 70 percent off the combined retail price for the standard materials that students would otherwise have needed to purchase.
11. Be aware of any applicable technology limits and needs (as some students may not have the digital resources needed to access some electronic texts and others may need a device for accessibility purposes).
12. Work with The Center for Excellence in eLearning to write your own eTextbook.
13. When selecting the desired materials, contact the UC Bookstore. The UC Bookstore will work with you and the sellers/publisher(s) to ensure the student receives the best price.
If you have questions about textbook affordability, email TextbookAffordability@uc.edu to get connected with a representative.