The effort to replace textbooks with open educational resources (OER) is gaining momentum as colleges move past pilots to expand the use of free or inexpensive course materials across states and systems.

In states such as New Hampshire and New York, university systems are building new initiatives that build on years of lessons learned about using OER in the classroom. At the same time, organizations such as Achieving the Dream are investing millions of dollars to help community colleges in 13 different states build OER-based degree programs.

Those initiatives join others in progress in states such as Arizona, for example, where Maricopa Community College has used OER to save students more than $5 million in textbooks costs, and Virginia, which is expanding Tidewater Community College’s idea of a zero-textbook-cost degree program to 15 other institutions.

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