Open-Source Textbooks Gain Support to Improve College Affordability

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STORRS, Conn. (AP) -- Universities and state governments are supporting open-source textbooks as a way to make college more affordable.

The open textbooks are produced with publicly available material. They are issued to students for free or a small fraction of the hundreds of dollars they typically spend annually on books.

Connecticut passed a law last year endorsing further review of open textbooks. An open textbook that a UConn chemistry professor is preparing will spare students from buying a $303 commercial textbook.

David Anderson is executive director for higher education at the Association of American Publishers. He says the industry is already shifting from print to digital in a change that will bring down student costs.

He says he expects open textbooks will coexist with but will not replace commercial textbooks.

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