January 19, 2022

U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG): 60+ Student Leaders Call on Congress to Renew Open Textbook Pilot

From a Letter to Congress Posted in a U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) Announcement:

Dear Chairs and Ranking Members,

We the undersigned student representatives of America’s colleges and universities write to you today on the urgent need to address the skyrocketing price of textbooks, and to urge you to renew and strengthen the Open Textbooks Pilot in the FY19 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill.

2018-09-05_19-50-34Textbooks and other materials are one of the largest hidden costs students experience in their pursuit of a degree. Students regularly pay hundreds of dollars each semester for books they can only resell for pennies on the dollar, and increased use of expiring access codes hides essential homework assignments behind an online paywall. Sixty-five percent of students have skipped buying a textbook at some point because of cost, and each year, $3 billion of federal student aid goes to pay for textbooks, according to the Student PIRGs.

Open textbook can get students the materials they need to succeed on day one of class, for free. These open course materials are high quality, peer reviewed educational resources that are published under an open copyright that makes them free to download and can be printed at cost. Studies from BYU and Achieving the Dream indicate that the use of open textbooks increases student learning outcomes, lets them take more courses, and graduate on time.

Thank you for making a $5 million investment in open textbooks in FY18. As you work towards a final FY19 bill, we urge you to maintain the additional $5 million investment for new grants in the Open Textbooks Pilot contained in the Senate-passed bill.


Associated Students of the University of Missouri

Natalie Butler, Executive Director

Association of Big Ten Students

Sarah Henry, Director of Legislative Affairs

Robert Griggs, Executive Director

Berkshire Community College

Don Ross, Student Government Association President

Bunker Hill Community College

Cam Do, Student Trustee

CalPIRG Students

Sophie Haddad, State Board Chair

Central Washington University

Leah Mobley, Vice President for Legislative Affairs

ConnPIRG Students

Kharl Reynado, State Board Chair

Eckerd College

Marissa Bradley, Student Body President

Emory University

Sania Chandrani, Student Government Vice President

Emporia State University,

Michael Webb, Student Body President

Essex County College (NJ)

Nelson O. Ejezie, Student Body President

Holyoke Community College

Dylan Burns, Student Body President

Indiana University

Alex Wisniewski, Student Body President

Maryland PIRG Students

Tino Fragale, President

Massachusetts Bay Community College

Matthew Mori, Vice President for Student Affairs

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

Declan Nolan, Student Government Association President

MassPIRG Students

Theresa Soldan, State Board Chair

Michigan State University

Katherine Rifiotis, Student Body President

Maysa Sitar, Executive Board Member

NJPIRG Students

April Nicklaus, State Board Chair

North Shore Community College

Nirwendjie Altidor, President

Ohio State University

Shamina Merchant, Student Body President

Oregon Student Association

Lamar Wise, Executive Director

OSPIRG Students

Darce O’Brien, State Board Chair

Pennsylvania State University

Cody Heaton, Student Body President

Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM)

Zac Bears, Executive Director

Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Suzanne Link, Student Body President

Rutgers University, Newark

Sabrina Ahmed, Student Body President

Salem State University

Andrew Carden, Student Government President

Salem State University

Paul Wilkens, Student Trustee

Skidmore College

Riley Filister, Vice President for Academic Affairs

Southern Oregon University

Alexis Phillips, Student Body President

Students United (MN)

Sarah Berns, Director of Government Relations

Texas Tech University

John Getz, Graduate Student Body Vice President

Sean Lewis, Student Body President

University of California Council of Student Body Presidents

Michael Skiles, Chair

University of California Student Association

Caroline Siegel Singh, President

University of California, Berkeley

Nuha Khalfay, External Vice President

University of California, Davis

Edgar Masias Malagon, External Affairs Vice President

Jonathan Minnick, Graduate Student Association President

University of California, Irvine

Holly Woods, External Vice President

University of California, Los Angeles

Michelle Viorato, Graduate External Vice President

Claire Fieldman, Student Body President

University of California, Merced

Lindsey Huizar, External Vice President

Stacey Ascencio, Student Body President

University of California, San Diego

Kiara Gomez, Associated Students President

Melissa Vipperman-Cohen, Graduate President

University of California, Santa Cruz

Davon Thomas, External Vice President

University of Central Arkansas

Joshua Eddinger-Lucero, Student Government Association Executive President

University of Connecticut, Storrs

Ama Appiah, Student Body President

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Walter Lindwall, Student Body President

University of Iowa

Hira Mustafa, Student Body President

University of Maryland, College Park

Jonathan Allen, Student Body President

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Timmy Sullivan, Student Body President

Nathalie Amazan, Student Government Vice President

University of Massachusetts, Boston

Katie Mitrano, Student Body President

University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Tyler Varda, Student Government President

University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Andre DiFilippo, Student Body President

University of Michigan

Daniel Greene, Student Body President

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Maxwell Hurst, Director of Government & Legislative Affairs

Simran Mishra, Student Body President

University of Missouri, Columbia

Andrew Goewert, Associated Students President

Julia Wopata, Student Body President

University of Missouri, Saint Louis

Adam Rapert, Associated Students President

University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Hunter Traynor, Student Body President

University of Pittsburgh

Maggie Kennedy, Student Government Board President

Cory Stillman, Vice President

University of San Diego

Chris Hermes, Student Body Vice President

University of Texas at Arlington

Yash Singh, Student Body President

University of Virginia

Alex Cintron, Student Council President

University of Washington, Seattle

Ritika Jain, Associated Students President

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Billy Welsh, Student Body President

WashPIRG Students

Madison Longbottom, State Board Chair

Source URL


U.S. Congress Funds $5 Million Open Textbook Grant Program in 2018 Spending Bill (via SPARC; March 22, 2018)


About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.