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Open Educational Resources and Zero Textbook Cost

How to find and use Open Educational Resources

Why Zero Textbook Cost?

Nearly forty percent of CUNY students come from households with annual incomes of less than $20,000. For many of our students, the cost of textbooks can be a steep barrier to academic success. Students often choose not to register for courses that require expensive textbooks, or fail courses simply because they cannot afford the materials. These patterns can lead to increased enrollment time and reduced rates of degree completion.

One way to reduce textbook costs is to offer zero-textbook-cost courses, or ZTC courses.

Courses can be converted to ZTC in a variety of different ways, including using Open Educational Resources or making materials available through e-reserves or on an institutional site such as Blackboard. This guide is designed to help you choose the path that is right for you and your students. If you have any questions, or would like to schedule a one-on-one consultation, please contact me at

Identifying Your Course as "ZTC"

To designate your course as zero textbook cost:

  1. Log in to with your CUNY log in credentials.
  2. Mark "Adoptions not Required."
  3. Select "Course uses OER/Zero cost materials"