Alternative Textbook Grants

Instructors, this one’s for you!


The Alternative Textbook Grant program caters to main FSU campus instructors as it addresses the rising cost of college textbooks. This textbook affordability initiative by FSU Libraries will be awarding grants of $1,000 each over the 2020-21 academic year to instructors who adopt Open Educational Resources (OERs) or library-licensed materials to replace commercial textbooks. These grants support the university’s strategic goals to support overall student success and enhance diversity and inclusion.

Open textbooks go through the process of being written by experts, peer-reviewed and published under flexible copyright licenses for downloading purposes, distributed, and adapted for free. The grants can also be used to purchase eBooks for course textbooks that are purchased as a part of the FSU Libraries collection with unlimited user licenses.


  • The cost of college textbooks has risen at 300% the rate of inflation since 1978, with a 90% cost increase over the last decade alone.
  • According to our 2017 survey, 72% of FSU students do not purchase textbooks due to cost, and 93% prefer a free online textbook over a traditional print option.

This trend is proven to negatively impact the outcomes of student learning. Instructors are negatively impacted as well since many students forego purchasing required materials and copyright restrictions prevent instructors from customizing commercial materials to fit in with their learning objectives more effectively.

To help address these concerns, the Alternative Textbook Grant program seeks to support faculty in replacing commercial textbooks with openly licensed alternatives that are available at no cost to students.

  • Since the launch of the program in November 2016, the Libraries awarded $24,000 in grants to FSU instructors, who have in turn saved FSU students up to $333,356.
  • 64% of faculty members in studies between 2015 and 2018 reported that using OER facilitated meeting the needs of diverse learners, and 68% perceived greater student satisfaction with the learning experience when using OER.

Applicants who receive a grant will also receive support and assistance on how to implement their alternative textbook. Before the upcoming textbook reporting deadline, the Alt-Textbook team will notify successful applicants within two weeks of each application deadline. Instructors who are interested in applying are welcome to review the grant requirements and submit an application online.

I think we are all in this field because we care about learning, about scholarship, and about students; this work directly supports student success.

Lindsey Wharton

The grant requirements for applicants and grant recipients as well as the Alternative Textbook Grant Application Form can both be found on the FSU Libraries website.


February 26, 2021: The deadline for the upcoming summer and fall courses (applications will still be accepted on a rolling basis after this date)

March 2, 2021: The deadline for textbook adoption reporting

If there are any questions about the Alternative Textbook Grant program, they can be addressed to Camille Thomas (Scholarly Communication Librarian) or Lindsey Wharton (Extended Campus and Distance Services Librarian) for more information.

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