Open Outcomes: Cost Savings

Open educational resources (OER) are freely available. They replace expensive commercial textbooks, which on average cost U.S. college students more than $1,200 per year according to 2013-2014 data from The College Board. Not surprisingly, cost savings is a primary reason institutions, faculty and student get interested in OER.

OER do not disappoint. Since Lumen’s inception in 2012, our projects alone have saved students more than $1 million in textbook cost savings.

Goodbye, Expensive Textbook. Hello, OER.

With Candela Open Courses, students pay nothing for commercial textbooks, but they have 100% free digital access to all course materials on the first day of class. Even our online homework system grants free access to students!

This translates into thousands of dollars in savings each time a course is taught, as illustrated in the table below:

average commercial textbook cost # of students per course estimated savings per course estimated savings        for ten courses
$150 40 $6,000 $60,000

But Wait, There’s More!

Lumen-supported OER initiatives lead to cost savings in other areas as well.

  • Lower course development costs: Candela Open Courses significantly reduce course design costs. Our affordable support fees represent significant savings compared to developing OER-based courses from scratch, and our content analytics drive course improvements over time based on student success data.
  • Quicker time-to-degree: Lumen clients are seeing some students apply the cost savings from commercial textbooks to pay for additional courses, aiming to save time and money completing their degrees. Often this also translates into more tuition revenue for the institution.
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How much money can your students save, thanks to OER? A lot.

We can help you calculate the savings. And we can help you make it a reality.

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