UAA Textbook Affordability

UAA Textbook Affordability

At UAA we put students first. In order to become a student-centered institution, we are working to close equity gaps in student learning and academic success by meeting the needs of our students. The high cost of textbooks can directly undermine these goals and our 2027 mission. One way to foster UAA student success is by adopting free-to-access materials, also known as Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC), or low-cost textbooks.

How to search for ZTC and low-cost courses:

  1. Log in to UAOnline (
  2. Click on Student Services and Account Information, then on Registration, and then Class Search.
  3. Click on Search and mark the box under Open Educational Resource to filter for courses with free or low cost book(s) or material(s).
  4. Apply any additional search criteria you want and click on Search again.
  5. Continue registering for your courses.

UAA students can advocate for textbook affordability by joining the Student Textbook Affordability Club! Students can also consult with their academic advisors when selecting classes and course sections to find the ones that use ZTC.


Why faculty should consider adopting ZTC:

Textbook prices can determine students’ futures by influencing their choices of majors and impacting the time that it takes them to complete their degrees. High prices of course materials can undermine student success. 

One way to reduce costs to students is by adopting free-to-access materials, also known as Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) course materials. Choosing either ZTC materials or those with lower costs improves student success. ZTC can help students gain immediate access to their materials and correlates with improved grades and lower rates of withdrawal from courses.  

A specific kind of ZTC course materials are what are known as Open Educational Resources (OERs). These resources are designed and licensed for the user to be able to freely access and share, and in some cases to be able to modify them. Sometimes the terms ZTC and OER get used interchangeably. 

Another way to help students quickly acquire course materials is to use Inclusive Access (IA). Sometimes referred to as automatic textbook billing, Inclusive Access is a particular sales model for textbooks. IA delivers digital content to students by their first day of class. Students then have an “opt out” before they get billed. When faculty choose Inclusive Access, it is important to remember that after the end of the course students may lose access to IA content. It is also not always more affordable for students than other options, including purchasing their textbooks used or renting them. 

Faculty using only no-cost-materials (ZTC and/or OER) should work with their Chairs and Schedulers to have their courses marked in the schedule as ZTC. They can learn more about the Consortium Library’s programs to support textbook affordability as well.