Low Cost Textbook Alternatives

GTCC Campus stores work hard to keep college course materials affordable for our students.  We are owned and operated by GTCC and are not operated by a 3rd party, for-profit company.  Our mission is to support students and faculty on campus and offer low cost options for your course materials. 

There are many changes in publishing and course materials that are making textbooks more affordable and opening up many new low-cost possibilities as well as catering to different learning styles. The GTCC Campus Stores are always on the lookout for these options and advising our Faculty on how to offer lower price alternatives for our students.  GTCC Campus Stores have a Bookstore Advisory Committee that meets 3-4 times each year to share new developments and changes in the industry which can benefit our students and faculty teaching. Let us know if you would like to join our Textbook Advisory Committee.  Some important considerations for low cost alternatives to consider before adopting them in a course.....

ADA Compliance:  All OER content should be vetted by the Dept. Chair and Faculty to ensure that it ADA Compliant.  The eLearning department can assist with this as needed. 

Payment for OER content:  GTCC is required to show the full cost of attendance by the Dept. of Education on the first day of registration for the upcoming semester including the cost of all course materials, supplies, kits and uniforms.  So in order to ensure this, no OER should require payment or additional subscriptions for content access.  If there is payment required, it must be adopted in VERBA, availablel to purchase online or in store at the Campus Stores so that students may use their Title IV funds, scholarship or sponsorship awards to pay for this content prior to the course start.  GTCC Faculty are solely responsible for vetting all links included in their CANVAS LMS and content to ensure solicitation is not occuring. 

Copyright:  GTCC requires that Faculty and Dept. Chairs review content in the course LMS to ensure no Copyright infringement occurs.  There are many links to content and downloads on the internet which are not legal.   The Campus stores recommends OERCommons and NCLive as two vetted sources for course materials content.  Please feel free to contact your Campus Librarian or Campus Stores Procurement Clerk to review the copyright of any links or OER content you would like to add that you have questions on.   

Here are a list of the many options available to  GTCC faculty in the marketplace to assist in your course materials adoption discussions.  Unlike many colleges, GTCC allows only 1 set of ISBN's "adopted", per course, to help alleviate confusion amongst different sections of  the same course.  This ensures students are ready to go on the first day of classes.  Now, those ISBN"s can be carried in multiple formats if the Dept. agrees, which helps with student affordability.  

  • DAY-ONE INCLUSIVE ACCESS: GTCC can include your course materials in CANVAS as a Dept. wide initiative called DayONE Inclusive Access.  All course materials are housed in your CANVAS site and all students access them on the 1st day of classes.  Students pay a fee associate with the course at the time of registration.  The digital materials are provided at the lowest price available nationwide in accordance with the Dept. of Education guidelines and the fees are still published on the Campus Stores website under each course.  Students can also see and view these fees in the Self-Service portal. Students have 8 days to try-out the materials and have an option to OPT-OUT if they desire but they will lose access the next day and should be prepared to continue in the course with some other access code.   For some titles the publisher offers printing from the DayONE materials. Note you can elect to print at home or print on campus for a fee using Titan Printing.  Once printed just hole punch and place in a 3-ring binder.  A select group of materials also may offer a mailed loose leaf version which you can purchase for an additional fee either online or in-store. 
  •  Publisher Digital Standalone Access Cards: In many cases we offer or can order you the separate digital access code for many courses saving you up to 40% OFF on your course materials.  While not available for all courses, this has been a popular option for MAT, ECON, SPA, and many other courses.  Many include the eBook and it usually denotes this on the access card.
  • CENGAGE UNLIMITED:   Like a Cengage published title? Offer students a Cengage Unlimited subcription.  Pay one low price for all Cengage Digital Library content for a semester, a year or even 2 years.  Many students in EDU, EGR and SAB/HSE have seen the savings. Printing available too.  
  • Digital eBooks for Download:  Thru a partnership with VitalSource we offer many eBooks at a great savings to the print versions.  For more information just ask a Store Associate or go to https://www.vitalsource.com/.
  • LOOSE-LEAF BOOKS: In many cases we can offer the same hard back book as a loose leaf version for a 25% to 35% savings off the hard copy version.  We even buy most of these back at the end of the semester, especially if it is not bundled with an access code.
  • NCLive Link and picture Open Education North Carolina is an initiative that aims to reduce the cost of higher education for North Carolina students by providing free, open textbooks for 30 of the most frequently-taught courses across North Carolina’s 2 and 4-year colleges and universities. The initiative is coordinated by an OER Program Librarian employed by NC LIVE and is overseen by an OER Advisory Committee of faculty, administrators and librarians from around the state. The GTCC Campus Stores and Faculty are actively working with the LRC Staff to help coordinate this roll out of free or low cost course materials to students.  Faculty can contact the LRC for more information on how OER can be incorporated into your courses. OpenStax.org is also very popular at many colleges.  
  • Digital Course Content Creation:  Departments can opt to create or add their own custom course materials through low cost options such as https://get.vitalsource.com/content-creation, LAD Custom Publishing, and Xanedu.com.  Most offer copyright clearances and save students 40-60% off of traditional publishing models.  Many Dept.'s use these 3 vendors listed to save students money and provide great content to meet student learning objectives.
  • USED BOOKS: We LOVE used books and sell them with most courses that do not have digital access, codes or are used as lab manuals. Most USED copies are 20-40% off the new version price.  We offer BOOK BUYBACK at Greensboro, High Point and Jamestown stores at the end of Fall and Spring terms.  We also offer ONLINE BUYBACK through a partner, MBS. We also offer in-store daily buyback through MBS. All shipping is free and you receive a check from MBS within 2 weeks of receipt of your books.  
  • COURSE PACKS: The GTCC Duplicating Center in Facilities can reproduce any content for your class. They are the original Open Educational Resouces(OER) provider, right on campus!  They can create Student Course Packs  that Faculty self produce and are actually duplicated here on campus and offer a tremendous savings!  Many include the syllabus and complemental materials that the Faculty have found helpful in there courses.  DEN, PTA, AST and many other Departments use them very successfully each term and they usually cost students $4 to $15.  Be sure to check your Moodle Course site too as they usually list them there, but if you need to print it out, the in-store price is usually very competitive and will save students a ton of ink. 

If you find others that you would like to share please forward their contact information to our staff.  Also, we have a list of current publisher contacts we can forward to any GTCC Faculty.   Thank you for helping us keep text books affordable at GTCC.