03:36 PM

Higher Education Publishers Join Ohio Textbook Affordability Initiative to Save Students Nearly $40 Million

AAP members Macmillan, McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Wiley recently partnered with the Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK) and the Ohio Department of Higher Education on state-wide Inclusive Access textbook affordability initiative. Ninety non-profit institutions of higher education in Ohio are members of OhioLINK. The initiative could save Ohio’s 450,000 college students nearly $40 million a year on course materials.

The publishers have agreed to reduce the wholesale price of e-textbooks to colleges and retailers in Ohio by up to 80% and courseware by up to 55%. OhioLINK is currently in talks with other publishers to participate in this textbook affordability initiative. Hundreds of institutions around the country participate in Inclusive Access programs.

Inclusive Access (sometimes called First Day model, Digital Discount Programs, Digital Direct Access) is a model where all students enrolled in a class get immediate access to e-textbooks on day one of the course (or before) via the course management system. Students are billed for those e-textbooks through the campus bursar. Only e-textbooks and courseware are included in the Ohio initiative. Print textbooks, used books, rentals, and individual purchases of e-textbooks are not discounted under this agreement.

Beyond guaranteed lower prices and immediate access to materials for students, Inclusive Access programs offer benefits to faculty and academic institutions, including:

  • Faculty academic freedom – Material selection continues to be determined by faculty, departments and existing campus-defined methods of assigning material.
  • Statewide impact – Ninety non-profit institutions of higher education in Ohio are members of OhioLINK, serving 450,000 students across the state.
  • Guaranteed lower prices – Institutions already involved in inclusive access will automatically go to the lowest negotiated price. Decisions to switch to inclusive access is solely at the discretion of the instructor and institution.
  • Institutional accommodation – The model can be implemented through the institution’s existing CMS, bursar and bookstore or textbook provider. The model accommodates campuses local contexts and needs.

OhioLINK is a statewide consortium of 120 academic libraries distributed among 91 colleges and universities as well as the State Library of Ohio.