Rice University-based publisher OpenStax College today announced $9.5 million in philanthropic grants from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF), Rice alumni John and Ann Doerr, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to add 10 titles to its catalog of free, high-quality textbooks for the nation’s most-attended college courses by 2017. OpenStax College is creating free books for 25 of the most-attended college courses in the country.
OpenStax College uses philanthropic gifts to produce high-quality, peer-reviewed textbooks that are free online and low-cost in print. Its first seven books have already saved students more than $13 million. The books have been downloaded more than 650,000 times and have been adopted for use in nearly 900 courses at community colleges, four-year colleges, universities and high schools. OpenStax College has four titles in production for next year and plans to expand its library to 21 titles by 2017. The additional funding will allow the nonprofit publisher to develop textbooks for additional high-enrollment courses, including several science and mathematics courses.
“Our books are opening access to higher education for students who couldn’t otherwise afford it,” said Rice Professor Richard Baraniuk, founder and director of OpenStax College. “We’ve already saved students millions of dollars, and thanks to the generosity of our philanthropic partners, we hope to save students more than $500 million by 2020.”