Students in class

Open Education Resources

Low and No Cost Textbooks

Textbooks cost HOW much?

In an effort to keep the cost of attending college down, Reynolds is exploring options that provide students with textbooks and other materials that are free, legally obtained, and still meet a high academic standard.  One of these options is the use of Open Educational Resources (OER). These resources are produced under the Creative Commons license, which means the author has made their resources available to the public for free!

How much can I save?

The amount of money a student can save obviously depends on their degree program, which classes they take, and how many classes they take, but let’s look at what could be a typical schedule:


Regular Schedule   “No textbook cost” schedule

BIO 101 - $200.50 (book + manual) 

BIO 101 - $33.75 (lab manual)

HIS 121 - $53.75 (used)   

HIS 121 - $0.00

ENG 111 - $58.25 (used)   

ENG 111 - $0.00

ITE 115  -$150.00   

ITE 115 - $150.00

SDV 100 - $43.00

SDV 100 - $0.00

Total = $505.50 

Total = $183.75

Students would still have to purchase their lab manual, and Reynolds currently doesn’t have a “No textbook cost” option for ITE 115, but that’s a difference of 321.75!  If similar classes could be scheduled each semester, students could save $1287.00 while completing a two year degree

Am I sacrificing quality for price?

Not at all.  Some of our “No cost textbook” classes used industry-standard books that are donated to the school.  The books are therefore free to students, even though they aren’t officially OER and are still subject to copyright.  Materials that are specifically designated “OER” were developed by educators specifically so that they maintain their integrity.  The book used in American History courses, for example, only allowed individuals with PhDs in history to help write it, and it’s currently published by Stanford University, but it’s still open for students and instructors without cost. But whether the books come from the industry or OER, they will all be marked as “No cost textbooks”

What courses offer "No textbook cost" sections?

Currently Reynolds has “no cost textbook” options for the following classes:
  • BIO 101*, 102*, 106 and 107
  • BUS 100
  • ECO 201 and 202
  • ENF 3
  • ENG 111, 112, 210, 241, 242, and 244
  • HIS 101, 102, 111, 121, and 122
  • PSY 200
  • SDV 100 and 101
  • SOC 200
Note that classes marked with an * still have a cost for a lab manual (typically under $40), but no cost for the main textbook.  Also Keep in mind that this list doesn’t mean that every course is “no textbook cost” but that of all the course offered, there is at least one has no cost.
If you are interested in other courses being offered, talk to one of your professors in that subject.  Student demand can help drive the search for new materials and the eventual creation of additional “No textbook cost” courses.

How do I sign up for an OER course?

You sign up the same way as you would any other course at Reynolds, there’s no special permissions, codes, or approvals needed.  You can search individual sections of a class and see if they are marked as “No textbook cost.”  Add it to your shopping cart, and register.  That's it.
You can also go to the “Register for classes” page and in the “Session” drop-down menu select “No textbook cost.”  That will provide you a list of all course offered that semester at a glance.

I still have some questions.

No problem.  Contact any of the people listed on this page.