Every year, college students spend over $1500 on textbooks. Then professors at the University of Nebraska decided to help college students and try open source textbooks. The open source textbooks are licensed free online and at a cost if students care to order a hard copy. Professors allowed students to use the online version of the textbook for courses and the results were great. Students were glad to save money on college textbooks. With the high cost of college textbooks, professors are helping college students by allowing more and more open source textbooks to be used in their courses. Authors of open source textbooks are not yet compensated, but a different form of revenue stream will occur from the open source textbooks.
Flat World Knowledge and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are a couple of sources to use for open textbooks. Open source textbooks could be the way to fight high textbook prices and drive down prices. Textbook authors would need more of an incentive to publish textbooks open source in order to create more textbook options for college professors and students. Other colleges are looking into ways to lower college textbook prices and help college students save money.
Another option to save money on college textbooks is to use a textbook exchange service to trade college textbooks with other students. Students can trade textbooks and not have to buy a new textbook from the high priced bookstores. A website such as StudentBookTrades.com provides a free service that matches students together and trade textbooks. The site also allows students to search their home campus for textbooks for sale just like a bulletin board.