|Cliché:||An open book.|
|POCS Reality:||Students can save money on costly textbooks.|
Over a thousand dollars. That’s how much students can spend a year for their college textbooks. The state of Washington is doing something that potentially can save its students millions. They are making inexpensive open source textbooks available for some popular college classes.
Open source textbooks are books that are openly-licensed by their authors for distribution in printed, digital, or audio formats. The price varies from free for downloads to $10-30 for printed textbooks.
That’s not all who can save, according to The Seattle Times, because of matching funds of $1 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:
The course materials will be available to any college that wants to use them around the world, as long as they promise to not charge students more than $30 to get printed copies of the materials. Students who choose to use the books online and not get a hard copy can use them for free. Either way, students will potentially save hundreds of dollars a course.
The future may see open source textbooks in K-12 classrooms per The Seattle Times:
State Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, said he planned to take aim next legislative session on K-12 books. He estimated that idea could save school districts millions of dollars, save children from having to carry heavy books back and forth to school and make sure schools have the most up-to-date books possible.
Read more: *POCS Insight: College and Books
POCSmom’s College Prep DIY Insight: Buying used textbooks, renting textbooks, borrowing and swapping with a classmate, downloading all or portions of etextbooks, are other ways students can save money on textbooks. Just make sure it’s the correct edition required for the course. Sometimes professors use books they or others have authored but updated, creating a new required version. As for inexpensive open source textbooks, they can save students money if colleges and professor agree to use them and the quality is similar to existing textbooks.