AL$, or Affordable Learning $olutions, is an initiative by the CSU Chancellor’s office to promote the use of low- or no-cost course materials to reduce the financial burden on students. Since 2016, AL$ has saved CSUN students over $1,000,000 in textbook costs.
There are lots of ways to lower textbook costs for your course, from adopting Open Educational Resources, to transitioning to ebooks, to embedding course materials in Canvas. Not sure where to start? Check out some of these cost-reduction ideas and our tips for how to implement them! And don't forget, librarians are always here to help!
Finding free or low-cost course materials may seem like a daunting task... but don't worry, we've got you covered! We've compiled an Open Educational Resources Guide to help you navigate OER repositories and find materials that are both high-quality and low-cost.
Although it may not seem like much, reporting textbook costs for your course can make a big difference by helping students make informed decisions and budget appropriately as they select their classes. Moreover, if additional expenses for your course are $50 or less, your course will be highlighted as low-cost in Class Search, which may help boost your enrollment numbers.
Faculty who are actively working to reduce textbook costs for their courses are eligible to receive a Matador AL$ Faculty Award of between $500 and $1,500 to recognize their commitment to affordable learning. Even a cost reduction of just 30% will make you eligible, and the application process is simple.
Although prioritizing affordable course materials is ultimately up to your instructors, there are still ways for you to get involved and benefit from the AL$ initiative as a student!