Free or low-cost college textbooks? SLCC program makes it possible

SALT LAKE CITY — Like most college students, Jeff Cunningham can easily plan how much he’ll need to budget for tuition and fees.

But the cost of textbooks and other instructional materials?

“It’s a gut punch,” said Cunningham, who is taking classes at Salt Lake Community College toward a bachelor’s degree in physics, which will be his second undergraduate degree.

“Until they release the book list, you’ve got no idea what it’s going to cost,” he said. Cunningham has designs on working for NASA as a “second act” once he retires from his current career as a firefighter.

SLCC’s Open Educational Resources initiative is working to help relieve that burden.

Open Educational Resources are any type of educational material that is in the public domain or introduced with an open license. That means anyone can legally and freely use them, copy them, adapt them and share them.

The resources can include full courses, course materials, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software and other tools.

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