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Textbook Affordability

MHCC is dedicated to lowering education costs. MHCC helps keep textbook expenses low by using Open Educational Resources (OER) and incorporating library resources to replace costly commercial textbooks. 

What are OERs?

OERs are educational materials that either have a special copyright license or are in the public domain. This means they are very affordable or even free.

In addition to lowering textbook costs, OERs can improve student experience. Instructors can change OERs and tailor them to student and faculty needs. This allows for creativity in teaching, learning, and student engagement. It also provides for new learning environments. OERs are typically created and funded by non-profit foundations, colleges and universities, or government agencies. They are highly adaptable. Instructors can use them with new technologies and teaching methods in more ways than traditional textbooks.

View our OER materials and support

Low- and no-cost course labels

Another way to save money on textbooks: look for no-cost or low-cost labels in the course schedule. When you register for classes, you might find courses that have "No-Cost $0" or "Low-Cost: Under $50" under textbook price of the course description.

No-Cost: $0

The course either requires no textbook or exclusively uses course materials that are no-cost (free) to the student.

Low-Cost: Under $50

The combined cost of the textbook or required course materials (such as workbooks, streaming media, lab manuals, online homework platforms and codes, or publisher-provided curricular materials) should be between $1 and $49.

How are OERs so affordable?

OERs use open licenses, such as those developed by Creative Commons. These licenses allow others to retain, reuse, revise, remix, or redistribute original material without breaking copyright law.
When new works are created using existing materials, they must contain an attribution statement and citation that protects intellectual property. That way original authors do not lose ownership of their work, but the new content that grows from it can be shared around the world!

College textbook prices increased increased 1,041% from 1977 to 2015 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). That’s more than three times the rate of inflation during that same time period! OER is one way MHCC strives to keep higher education affordable for everyone. Since 2015, faculty using OER have saved MHCC students over $3 million!

Take the next step at Mt. Hood Community College

Have questions about OER materials?

Contact MHCC Library Reference Staff

Have questions about education costs?

Talk with an Advisor

Learn about Student Services Financial Aid