Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 79.77
Liaison Josh Lasky
Submission Date April 4, 2023

STARS v2.2

George Washington University
IN-41: Textbook Affordability

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Tara Scully
Director of the Sustainability Minor Program
Assistant Professor of Biology
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution host a peer-to-peer textbook exchange program, textbook lending library, or alternate textbook project?:

A brief description of the textbook exchange program, textbook lending library, or alternate textbook project:

The Top Textbooks at GW Libraries program acquires up to three copies of required textbooks for a select group of undergraduate, high enrollment courses with traditionally expensive textbooks and places them on course reserve for use by all students. Textbooks are available at Gelman Library for use in accordance with current course reserve practices and loan periods.

The escalating price of textbooks is a significant concern for undergraduate students, and many students struggle to afford the high cost of textbooks and supplies each year. To help improve textbook affordability and access, the library launched the Top Textbooks program in fall 2017. The program began as a proposal by former Student Association president Peak Sen Chua and continues as a collaboration with the Student Association.

The Top Textbooks program has resulted in $596,546 in textbook savings for GW students based on individual checkouts between Fall 2017 and Fall 2022.

Does the institution provide incentives for academic staff that explicitly encourage the authorship, peer review, and/or adoption of open access textbooks?:

A brief description of the incentives to encourage the authorship, peer review, and/or adoption of open access textbooks:

George Washington University Libraries & Academic Innovation (GWLAI) accepted applications for the Adapting Course Materials for Equity Faculty Grant in Spring 2022. This pilot program will award grants ($250-$1000) to GW faculty who want to adopt and adapt open or zero-cost course materials in undergraduate courses taught between Fall 2022 and Fall 2023.

The program will award grants between $250-$1,000, determined initially by whether the proposal is to (1) adopt or (2) adapt or create the course materials.

Adopt: Proposals to adopt will involve replacing required, commercial textbooks/course materials with open educational resources or zero-cost course materials. Proposals to adopt involve no or little work to edit existing materials. Award Amounts: Up to $500

Adapt or Create: Proposals to adapt or create will involve adapting existing open educational resources or creating new open educational resources in order to replace required, commercial textbooks/course materials. Award Amounts: Up to $1,000

The amount of an award within these two categories will be determined by a selection committee and based on factors including, but not limited to, cost savings to students; enhancements to student learning; and contributions to inclusive teaching practices and materials.

Other Support for Grant Recipients
Grant recipients will receive guidance from GWLAI staff on topics such as (1) finding and evaluating open and zero-cost course materials; (2) understanding open licensing; and (3) meeting digital accessibility requirements. GWLAI will offer training sessions and each recipient will have a dedicated partner from GWLAI to provide guidance throughout the duration of the project.

Website URL where information about the textbook affordability incentives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

More information on Open and Affordable Course Materials can be found on: https://library.gwu.edu/open-affordable-course-materials

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.