Why Use OERs?

Since 1977 the prices of textbooks has increased over 1,000%. That is over four times the rate of inflation. Nationally, students are being asked to budget over $1,200 a year for books. These increases have had a negative impact on our students.


Recent studies have found:

  • The average student at Youngstown State University is asked to budget $1,100 a year for books.
  • 59% of students report using financial aid to pay for books. This means a $200 book would cost the student an additional $46 with interest.
  • 66% of students don't buy required textbooks. Of the 66%, 94% of the students understand this would have a negative impact on their grade.
  • 47% of students reported taking fewer classes.
  • 26% have dropped a course due to the price of the textbook.


When you look at what students are paying for, there is a lot that is out of our hands. Many educational costs are fixed. We cannot help what the students are paying for rent or what they are spending their money on for personal expenses. The area that we can make a difference in is textbooks and supplies. This is a major pain point for a lot of our students and what the data is saying is very troublesome.