From Rice University:
Eleven U.S. colleges and universities that partnered last summer with Rice University-based nonprofit publisher OpenStax to boost the use of freely available textbooks and learning materials on their campuses expect the program to save their students nearly $8.2 million — about $4 million more than projected — in the coming academic year.
OpenStax, a unique publisher that uses philanthropic grants to produce high-quality, peer-reviewed textbooks that are free online and low-cost in print, launched its Institutional Partnership Program to spur the use of open educational resources (OER) at U.S. campuses.
In 2016, 43 schools applied for the 11 available slots. Each agreed to promote the use of OER materials on its campus through an intensive, yearlong program supported by dedicated OpenStax staff who assisted the partners in adopting both OpenStax titles and other free or low-cost OER.
The 2016 partners were Alamo Colleges (Texas), the University of Arizona, Washington State University, Utah State University, Pasadena City College (California), the University of Connecticut, Lansing Community College (Michigan), College of the Canyons (California), Tulsa Community College (Oklahoma), Northern Essex Community College (Massachusetts) and South Florida State College. The schools have a combined enrollment of more than 300,000, and in announcing the partnerships last year, OpenStax estimated the yearlong effort would result in a collective student savings on the campuses of at least $4.2 million.
Upon tallying year-end figures, OpenStax found that the number of students expected to use OER materials at the 11 schools this fall will be more than 300 percent higher than in 2015-16, the last year before enrolling in the partnership program. Student savings from OER at the 11 schools in 2017-18 are expected to be $8.2 million, about $4.8 million of which will result from using OpenStax books.