The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday April 14th

Letter: An alternative to expensive textbooks


Students at UNC Chapel Hill are busy starting classes and purchasing yet another stack of expensive textbooks. 

Many students and faculty alike are under informed or unaware of Open Educational Resources (OERs), a fairly new way of writing and personalizing textbook material online, that can help reduce the cost of higher education and help the people of North Carolina access quality education. 

OERs have been gradually making their way into the academic world for the last decade or so and many institutions have been able to save students tons of money each year. 

Erik Christianson, Physics professor at South Florida State College, was able to save his students $500,000 over a two year period and asserts that one of his favorite things about OERs is that it is making more students enroll in his courses and he says that they are “efficient and cost effective.” 

NC State University, just a hop, skip and a jump away from UNC Chapel Hill, has been able to save students $250,000 in 2015 and has started implementing a project that allows student researchers to participate in creating these OERs for new and innovative subjects! 

UNC Chapel Hill is behind the curve, but NCPIRG students at UNC have made college affordability their lead campaign this year and as of last semester have had 40 professors commit to using OERs or less expensive textbooks! 

Join the cause by writing to your local states-person urging them to support Open Educational Resources and help make college more affordable!

Christina Cellner 

Sunset Beach

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