OpenStax Partners to Reduce Textbook Costs

panOpen, an Open Educational Resources (OER) digital platform for colleges and universities, has officially announced its partnership with OpenStax, a Rice University-based initiative dedicated to improving student access to high-quality, affordable learning materials with its free, peer-reviewed textbooks.

Today, only 40 percent of college students will buy all of their required textbooks, and many forego purchasing books altogether in order to save money – a clear indication that the traditional textbook model is broken. Increasing awareness around OER remains a viable opportunity for open supporters since four out of 10 faculty members say they have never heard of OER. Once faculty begin using OER in the classroom, U.S. PIRG research shows the average college student can save $128 per course per semester.

“panOpen and OpenStax are taking digital learning to the next level by fusing an innovative, easy-to-use platform with peer-reviewed, trusted OpenStax content that’s designed to save students thousands of dollars on textbooks,” said Brian Jacobs, CEO and Founder of panOpen. “In order for institutions to see improvements in student retention and graduation rates, faculty need effective tools and resources that break down barriers to learning and keep students engaged. That’s exactly what panOpen and OpenStax are doing.”

OpenStax textbooks are available for free online at and through the panOpen platform. In addition, panOpen offers enhanced interactive versions of OpenStax textbooks for U.S. History, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Anatomy and Physiology, Concepts of Biology, Introduction to Sociology 2e, and Psychology. Enhanced interactive versions for other subject areas are in development.

panOpen encourages faculty to edit, remix, and contribute content at no cost. Students are charged a small flat license fee per course for perpetual access; typically, this reduces costs by 75 percent or more compared to traditional textbooks. The content is also freely downloadable, printable, and shareable. panOpen is designed to make OER sustainable by offering faculty and schools financial support through OER Development Funds in their efforts to “#GoOpen,” in the parlance of the new White House and Department of Education initiative.

“OpenStax is proud to offer yet another option for faculty and students to access OpenStax textbooks through our partnership with panOpen,” said David Harris, Editor in Chief at OpenStax. “Our titles reached nearly 400,000 students this academic year at 1,800 institutions and we’re excited to provide access to even more students in the coming year through our partnership with panOpen.” He adds, “Clearly the ecosystem around OpenStax resources is also growing rapidly.”

To learn more about Open Educational Resources made available through the panOpen and OpenStax partnership, please visit