Textbook Affordability | Office of the Provost | Kent State University

Textbook Affordability

Kent State University is committed to creating affordable education for our students.  Currently, books and supplies are estimated at $1200 a year to each student. We have been looking diligently at the cost of textbooks and other associated course materials and provide information and resources here to help faculty reduce the cost of those materials to students. 

  • Flash Books (Inclusive Access)

The Flash Books program allows students access to their course materials on, or before, the first day of classes.  They are assessed a course fee typically ranging from 25-75% below the list price for the same text.  Materials are made available electronically to students through their Blackboard course. 

Faculty interested in submitting their course for this program should submit the details of their course here

For more information click here

  • Open Educational Resources (OER) and other e-sources

For Kent Core courses, direct students to the library reserves http://www.library.kent.edu/about/departments/course-reserves

Use alternatives to traditional textbooks

Electronic databases – http://libguides.library.kent.edu/az.php (includes electronic book center)

Consider using an e-book through the University Libraries (there are thousands of e-books available at no cost to students) – http://ebooks.ohiolink.edu/ebc-home/

Work with your subject librarian to identify alternative essays, articles, and learning objects available in the library or online (including open access textbooks)


  • Required federal and state mandated practices

Textbook information must be submitted by departments by published dates, and the university must make that information available to students

The University must make available professional negotiators to help departments negotiate lower costs (contacts are Mandy Munro-Stasiuk mmunrost@kent.edu and Cesquinn Curtis ccurti10@kent.edu)

  • Additional recommended practices to help lower textbook costs

Departments should form textbook committees to review textbook practices and make recommendations for courses and programs

Textbooks should be standardized across multiple sections of large enrollment courses

Avoid textbook bundles if all pieces are not required

Use alternative free or lower-cost sources when available (e.g. open resources; older editions; alternative texts)