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Affordable Learning $olutions

The official website of the CSUN AL$ initiative.

AL$ Awards


NEW! Departmental Grants:

2022-2023 AL$ Departmental Grant

CSUN’s Affordable Learning $olutions (AL$) initiative, part of the CSU-wide program to promote the use of low- or no-cost course materials, is pleased to announce the 2022-2023 CSUN AL$ Departmental Grant. 

We are looking for departments to adopt open source textbooks or other low/no cost options in two or more courses -- that save at least 30% compared to previous required textbooks in 2021-2022 to receive up to $5,000 Affordable Learning Solutions funding as follows:

  1. First Tier: $5,000

  2. Second Tier: $3,500

  3. Third Tier: $1,500

The funds must be used to make textbooks more affordable and may include resources, software, and/or professional development stipends/opportunities (e.g.$1500 for faculty affordable textbook creators/adopters). Grantees must sign an MOU in which the department is required to:

  • Report textbook selection and ZCCM & LCCM on time

  • Submit a brief expense and feedback report

To apply, each instructor of the course applicable in the department will need to fill out this Google Form answering the following questions by March 23 (Wednesday) 5pm PT, 2022. Extended to April 15 (Friday) 5pm PT, 2022. The grants committee will review applications to determine department grantees based primarily on the number of courses and sections involved and the money saved for students. We are also looking for high DFU courses and first-time applicants (past awardees are not eligible to apply within two years from the awarded year). 

  • Your Last Name

  • Your Email

  • Course Number

  • In what department is this course taught?

  • Approximate number of students to be impacted

  • Please select one or more categories for this course adoption (If you are not sure, please use Other to describe your tentative plan and specific questions)

  • What is the required [or recommended] text/course material in use for this course? Please insert author, title, edition, publication year (as applicable) For articles, videos, and other non-book course materials, you don't need to provide the specific titles. Briefly describe the types of sources would be enough. 

  • Cost of course materials per student BEFORE and AFTER introducing no/low-cost materials.

Check out the AL$ website for ways to reduce the cost of course materials. Please contact AL$ co-coordinator Yi Ding at for questions.


Success stories from 2020-2022 AL$ Departmental Grantees:

Extremely positive feedback from faculty in department as well as students interviewed. In addition, we have shared our results with our College Curriculum Committee to encourage other departments to investigate more zero-cost options.


Students were extremely thankful and grateful for the stipend as it helped tremendously with expenses. This has a been a cathartic experience for our department faculty and an exciting catalyst to increase our dialogue and action regarding adoption low/zero-cost course materials for students. We appreciate your support via this award.


This was so beneficial to our students and the creation of additional scenarios gives us the ability to support future students at a low cost. Thank you!


Would be wonderful to have additional funding to help more students. Thank you for providing this support to our students.


Cost-Saving Examples


Individual Awards:

During 2018-2020, faculty who were actively working to reduce textbook costs for their students are eligible to receive a Matador AL$ Award of between $500 and $1,500 to recognize their commitment to affordable learning during. Since Fall 2020, we have decided to only continue the departmental award in Spring 2021 while transforming the individual awards to other resources and professional development opportunities. 



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