Open-source textbooks gain in push for college affordability

In this Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016 photo, professor Edward Neth poses for a photo in his office at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn. The standard textbook for Fundamentals of General Chemistry at UConn has a list price of $303. For students who use the version that Neth is preparing from publicly available material for the fall semester, the cost will be zero. (AP Photo/Michael Melia)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Universities and state governments are supporting open-source textbooks as a way to make college more affordable.

The open textbooks are produced with publicly available material. They are issued to students for free or a small fraction of the hundreds of dollars they typically spend annually on books.

Connecticut passed a law last year endorsing further review of open textbooks. An open textbook that a UConn chemistry professor is preparing will spare students from buying a $303 commercial textbook.

David Anderson is executive director for higher education at the Association of American Publishers. He says the industry is already shifting from print to digital in a change that will bring down student costs.

He says he expects open textbooks will coexist with but will not replace commercial textbooks.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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