Bloomsburg University is a leader in saving students money on textbooks

For Immediate Release

Date: February 20, 2020

Contact: Tom McGuire, Director of Communications

Bloomsburg University is a leader in saving students money on textbooks

BLOOMSBURG—Bloomsburg University is among the leaders in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) when it comes to saving students money on textbooks, also known as course material affordability.

Through programs like Open Educational Resources (OER) and Inclusive Access (IA), Bloomsburg University students have saved a combined $1.1 million this academic year on textbooks and course materials.

OERs have been an integral part of education worldwide for more than two decades. OERs generally refer to digital educational materials that anyone anywhere can use freely and legally, including the user’s right to copy, share, enhance and/or modify them for the purposes of sharing knowledge and enabling education.

“Using OER material allows students to have access to course materials on day one of class,” said Kathryn Yelinek from BU’s Andruss Library. “A student who has immediate access to course material is more likely to earn a passing grade. We have 14 faculty members that piloted the program taking advantage of OER materials from across all of our colleges. OER savings totaled over $240,000 for the 2019-20 academic year.”

The other money-saving program is Inclusive Access, which provides reduced-cost textbooks to students, saving them between 30 and 80 percent. An example of the saving through Inclusive Access is an accounting textbook that would have cost $299 without IA was sold for $121.95. For textbooks with frequent updates, thus reducing the option for students to purchase used copies, this is a tremendous help to their bottom line.

Laura Heger, BU’s University Store manager, says there is a good reason to be supportive of this program. “The BU Bookstore is owned and operated by the Community Government Association, so it is owned by our students. We are here to serve our students and give them the best possible chance to be successful and leave BU with a diploma.”

In the spring 2020 semester, BU has 137 course sections using IA serving more than 5,000 students resulting in an overall savings of almost $400,000. On average, a student is saving between $100 and $115 per semester on books, the highest per-student savings in PASSHE.

Bloomsburg University will celebrate Open Education Week March 2 through 6. Founded in 2013 by the Open Education Global (previously Open Education Consortium), the goal of Open Education Week is to raise awareness and demonstrate the impact of open education on teaching and learning worldwide.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,200 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in five distinct colleges: College of Education, Zeigler College of Business, College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Technology, and new Honors College.