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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

Open Educational Resources

For Students

Why OER?

Required materials, like textbooks, can represent a significant cost to students. Textbook prices have increased over 1,000% since 1977, or more than 3 times the rate of inflation (Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 2015). 

According to research on open textbook pilots conducted by Student PIRGs (Open Textbooks: the Billion Dollar Solution, 2015): 

  • 65% of students have declined to obtain a required textbook because they were too expensive
  • Students save an average of $128 per course when traditional textbooks are replaced with open textbooks

Instructors can directly influence the cost of education for their students by adopting low- or no-cost course materials, like OER. 

* Source: Texas Higher Education Reporting Board (

** Source: Texas One Stop (

What could you buy instead of textbooks?

OER Resources for Students

If you're a student interested in learning more about OER or getting involved with advocacy efforts, these resources will get you started. Contact Colleen Lyon,, for more information or support. 

What is open education, anyway? Start with the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)'s primer

Legislation in Support of OER

The Senate of College Councils has produced several pieces of legislation in support of OER and other forms of free and affordable course materials.

  • S.R. 2103: A Resolution in Support of Requiring That Low-Cost Course Status Be Displayed on the University’s Course Schedule (2021)
  • S.R. 1808: A Resolution in Support of UT Libraries’ Advocacy for Open Education Resources (2019)
  • S.R. 1911: In Support of the Creation of a University-Wide OER Faculty Award Program (2019)

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