Getting Started with Affordable Learning

Students and faculty can begin making affordable choices by following these quick and easy steps. When lower-cost materials are available and accessible, students may be more likely to acquire required instructional materials to support their learning.



How can I get started reducing the cost of learning?

Step 1: Check the CSU Affordable Learning Solutions Open Educational Resources database (MERLOT II) to see if your adopted materials (or similar texts) are available for free. 

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Step 2: Consider whether a partial text is needed rather than an entire text. Many publishers will work with faculty or the bookstore to provide portions of text. Contact the SF State bookstore to discuss partial text adoptions or custom publishing.

Step 3: Search the library's free e-book list and offer e-textbook options for students when possible. Some e-textbooks allow limited or partial download for printing or saving as a PDF.

Step 4: Search SF State's library databases to find articles for a course reader or that can be linked directly through iLearn. Rather than requiring the purchase of a printed reader, instructors may be able to provide all readings in digital format with the option to students of printing what they choose.

Step 5: Consider creating your own open educational resources. The CSU OER database, Merlot II is always seeking additional high quality instructional materials. Contact to get started. 


How can I search for more afforable instructional materials?

Step 1: Pay attention to the available options (used, e-text, rental, etc.) when purchasing through the SF State (or any other) bookstore. If a text is only needed for a portion of a class, you may be able to rent the text for a shorter time period.

Step 2: Check the SF State Library to see if your required materials are available on reserve or as free e-books.

Step 3: Let your instructor know if you find less expensive course materials. 

Step 4: Look for additional free or low cost materials to help you learn. Search MERLOTx to find free and accessible instructional materials for any topic.