Approved by the: Student Senate - March 6, 2014
Administration - no action required*
Board of Regents - no action required

* The University administration is fully supportive of providing students with access to low cost, high quality educational content. Recognizing the critical role that faculty play in making the decision as to which educational materials to use in their courses, the U of M has developed several initiatives to address affordable educational resources: 1) The Open Textbook Library (, led by the College of Education and Human Development in collaboration with the U of M Libraries, promotes the identification, peer review, and adoption of open education resources. In 2012-13, ten CEHD faculty chose to adopt open textbooks, saving their students approximately $100,000. 2) The U of M Libraries, working with the University Bookstore, the Copyright permissions center, OIT, and faculty, have saved students significant money by ensuring that materials the University is already licensed (or where a fair use claim can be made) can be included at no additional charge as part of student digital course packs. In the 2012-13 pilot, nine CEHD faculty saved students over $14,000 by using digital course packs. 3) The U of M Bookstore has been a national leader in pursuing lower cost solutions including negotiating volume e-textbook agreements with major publishers, and providing large numbers of low cost textbook rentals. Finally, the University is also partnering with other educational institutions at the state and national level to explore lower cost options for educational content.

Resolution Supporting the Affordable College Textbook Act

WHEREAS on April 4, 2013, the Student Senate passed the Resolution on Open Access Textbooks, to encourage the adoption of Open Source Textbooks at the University of Minnesota,

WHEREAS according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, the cost of textbooks rose 82 percent between 2002 and 2012; and

WHEREAS while the average University of Minnesota student spends over $1,000 each year on textbooks and course materials, the use of open textbooks reduces course material costs for students by 80 percent, and in some cases eliminates it entirely, and

WHEREAS the availability of textbooks in digital format can generate significant savings for students without preventing the purchase of textbooks in hardcopy; and

WHEREAS access to high quality academic and scholarly information should be made affordable for as many individuals as possible in order to combat rising costs of tuition and student housing nationwide which may be detrimentally impacting the utilization of educational materials; and

WHEREAS the Affordable College Textbook Act (S.1704 / H.R. 3538) will make textbooks more affordable and accessible through the expansion of open educational resources; and

WHEREAS the Affordable College Textbook Act would:

WHEREAS the College of Education and Human Development’s Open Textbook Catalog has made the University of Minnesota a leader in embracing open education, and

WHEREAS the 2013-2014 Minnesota Student Legislative Coalition Legislative Platform includes support of the Affordable College Textbook Act, and

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Student Senate supports the Affordable College Textbook Act and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Student Senate will encourage the further evaluation of Open Textbooks by University faculty to most adequately consider their potential use in some instances as replacements for more expensive course materials and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Student Senate will collaborate with the Minnesota Student Legislation Coalition for the passage of the Affordable College Textbook Act.

Reference links:


Undergraduate Average Textbook Cost Annually

Graduate Average Textbook Cost Annually





Please refer to this document:

Also listed in previously mentioned document







Twin Cities


See Table Below

College (Twin Cities)

Graduate and Professional Average Textbook Cost Annually

The Graduate School


Architecture and Landscape Architecture


Carlson School of Management




Education and Human Development Master’s Degree


Law School


Medical School

-       1st and 2nd years

-       3rd and 4th years

-       1st year Summer

-       2nd and 3rd  year Summer

-       $1,400

-       $1,032

-       $700

-       $516

Occupational Therapy




Veterinary Medicine


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