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Rhode Island Open Textbook Initiative to Save Students $5 Million Annually

The governor of Rhode Island launched an initiative that aims to save college students $5 million a year by switching out traditional textbooks with openly licensed textbooks.

Governor Gina Raimondo introduced the Rhode Island Open Textbook Initiative to combat the steep prices of traditional textbooks, citing that textbook prices “have nearly doubled over the last decade,” according to a news release.

The Rhode Island Office of Innovation (InnovateRI) will lead the initiative through its partnership with Adams Library, located at Rhode Island College (RIC). RIC launched a pilot program this school year that so far has saved students $100,000 by switching to an openly licensed textbook for a biology course, according a news release.

The announcement comes a week after Raimondo pledged to ensure 70 percent of working-age Rhode Islanders hold at least an associate’s degree by 2025.

"The day we made that announcement, I met with students at [the Community College of Rhode Island] and [Rhode Island College] who told me the cost of books can be a barrier to earning a degree,”  Raimondo said in a statement. “The Rhode Island Open Textbook Initiative will help train librarians, faculty and students to identify and incorporate openly licensed textbooks and put $5 million back in students' pockets.” 

Several organizations have partnered with InnovateRI to support the new initiative:

In addition to RIC, six other institutions in Rhode Island have already pledged support for the initiative: Brown University, Bryant University, Community College of Rhode Island, University of Rhode Island, Roger Williams University and the New England Institute of Technology.

Further information, including a video that explains the initiative, is available on the InnovateRI site.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].

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