Textbook Affordability

Kent State University is committed to creating affordable education for our students. Currently, books and supplies are estimated at $1,200 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 https://www.library.kent.edu/about/departments/course-reserves

Use alternatives to traditional textbooks

Electronic databases – https://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) – https://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

The 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act requires that information about required course materials be made available to students before they enroll. This means that faculty are required to submit textbook orders to their Kent State University Bookstore prior to the date that students register for courses. If you do NOT require a textbook for your course, the Bookstore needs to know that as well. All faculty, therefore, must provide an order even if it is “no textbook required.” The University Bookstore will publish the textbook requirements with the course offerings so that students can plan their finances accordingly. The course materials are also made available to students through the schedule of courses. 

The date that textbook orders are due to your Kent State University Bookstore are:

  • for a summer semester course (any part of term) is on or before March 1;
  • for a fall semester course (any part of term) is on or before April 1; and
  • for a spring semester course (any part of term) is on or before October 1.

If you need assistance in ordering your textbooks, see the FacultyEnlight website or contact Lisa Albers (Kent campus; lalbers1@kent.edu) and Patrick Duff (Regional campuses; pduff@kent.edu). Faculty and instructors must place orders with the bookstore. Failing to do so can jeopardize some students’ abilities to pay for their textbooks with book scholarships which can only be used at the bookstore.

Through Ohio House Bill 49, the following requirements were mandated: 

  • Professional negotiators must be made available to help departments negotiate lower costs. Contacts at Kent State are Mandy Munro-Stasiuk (mmunrost@kent.edu and Cesquinn Curtis (ccurti10@kent.edu).
  • Programs that have large enrollment courses with multiple sections are recommended to use common course materials. Note, this is not a requirement but it is a proven best practice to lower textbook costs.
  • That we join a consortium that promotes digital capabilities including Open Educational Materials. Kent State is an OhioLink member, and this consortium has adopted the promotion of digital capabilities.

In 2017, Gov. Kasich mandated that each state institution develop a textbook selection policy. Kent State has not implemented a textbook selection policy at this time. 

  • 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).