Open/Alternative Textbook Initiative course fee

If you use no-cost educational resources in your course, you can apply to have the course fee applied to your class. The fee is $10 and is paid by each student enrolled in the class. Ninety percent of the fee goes to your department, and the remaining 10 percent supports the Open/Alternative Textbook Initiative.

2023 application deadlines

  • Apply by Friday, Sept. 1, 2023 for spring 2024 courses
  • Apply by Friday, Feb. 2, 2024 for summer and fall 2024 courses

Apply for the spring 2024 course fee

Apply for the summer/fall 2024 course fee


To qualify for the fee:

  • The course must be one that needs course materials (practicums, exercise classes, etc., are not eligible).
  • The course or course section (if only the lecture uses the resource for example) must not require or recommend any course materials students have to purchase. An exception to this is iClickers, since they can be used across courses.


The fee can be applied to one or multiple sections of the same course. An eligible course may rely on any combination of the following no-cost options:

  • an existing open access textbook
  • library resources
  • high quality open educational resources (OER)
  • multimedia resources (e.g., audio, video, TedTalks, YouTube videos or Wikimedia Commons)
  • faculty-authored materials (e.g., websites, PDFs, educational presentation slides or lecture videos)

Materials not eligible for the fee include:

  • commercial e-text versions of existing print resources
  • textbook rentals

Reporting and receiving the fee

To receive the fee, courses must apply every September (for upcoming spring semester courses) and February (for upcoming summer and fall semester courses). This is to ensure courses are marked properly and students are charged only for courses using open or alternative content. Please ensure all fields are completed, otherwise the entry is invalid and will not be counted.

Failure to apply for the course fee by the posted dates will result in the loss of the fee for that semester. Reinstatement is possible the next time it is offered, if the appropriate survey is completed on time.