Information For

Cougars Affordable Learning Materials

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The cost of a college education continues to rise. As a result, students are piling on debt and recent graduates are struggling under the weight of loans they wouldn't have needed 10 to 20 years ago. From survey data we've gathered, we have learned that the cost of course materials is a burden for many of our students and they believe their grades are suffering as a result, as the following quote attests:

"This semester, I had to borrow most of my books from the public library, which I will have to turn in two weeks before classes will finish. I don’t want to give up on my studies and my degree goals, and if professors could choose the best materials at the lowest cost possible, that would really help low income students like myself."

The Cougars Affordable Learning Materials Project (CALM) is part of the CSU Affordable Learning Solutions initiative started in 2010. CALM aims to aid faculty in replacing costly textbooks with lower cost alternatives by using high-quality open educational resources (OER), library resources, digital or customized textbooks, and/or faculty-authored materials. 

In the first year of CALM, 30 participating faculty have saved our students over $413,000. Find out more about our initiative and how you can participate in the next Call for Faculty Proposals or our CALM Faculty Heroes program.


Why We Need CALM

What You Can Do

Open Education Resources (OER)

CSU Rent Digital Program

Working with the Bookstore


Rent Digital Program

Find Cheaper Textbooks

2014 Best eBook readers

20 free tools for annotating PDF ebooks

The Best Time to Buy and Sell Textbooks


Image of peasant digging in dirt with a hoe from around 1814

Man with a Hoe, Jean-Francois Millet, 1860 Getty Open content program.  See more free image resources on the Open Education Resources page

In the News

The California Open Education Resources Council & California Digital Open Source Library Kicks off the Cool4Ed website

Two-Thirds of Faculty Unaware of Open Education Resources

LA Times: Cal State looks for ways to drive down cost of textbooks

Where is the Netflix of College Textbooks?

Library Consortium Tests Interlibrary Loan of eBooks