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Affordable Learning $olutions

The official website of the CSUN AL$ initiative.

AL$ Awards



Individual Awards:

Faculty who are 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. Even a cost reduction of just 30% will make you eligible. See below for more info.

Individual Award Tiers

Tier Criteria Award Amount

Tier 1

Project achieves 30-70% savings


Tier 2

Project achieves savings of greater than 70%


Tier 3

Project is scalable; locates free or low-cost material for multiple instructors, courses, or department-wide adoptions; and saves at least 30% for each included course section

up to


Please note: Where three or more faculty are working to reduce textbook costs for the same course, proposals will be considered only within the Tier 3 methodology. Awards are granted to individuals.


Important Dates


For Fall 2020 Courses


Application are accepted on a rolling basis but we have set a priority application date.

Deadline to provide AL$ with your new syllabus: 8/22/2020

Deadline to submit your report: 11/11/2020.


*Award payments will be processed at the end of each semester, and timing will vary based on individual faculty workload/FTE, the university’s payroll calendar, and submission of the final report .


  • All adopted materials must meet copyright requirements and be accessible by all students regardless of ability
  • The total student savings must be at least 30% and $1,000 per course section
  • You will be required to:
    • Have a consultation session with an AL$ member before applying. The session can be in-person or online.
    • Submit a final project report with student survey results and reflections
    • Commit to using affordable alternatives for at least one year after getting the award

Nominate Yourself Now!

Start by filling out the Matador AL$ Award Interest Form below so we can schedule a one-on-one consultation session with you (either in-person or online). After your consultation with the AL$ Team, you can then fill out and submit the official application.


NEW! Departmental Awards:

CSUN’s Affordable Learning $olutions (AL$) initiative, part of the CSU initiative to promote the use of low- or no-cost course materials, is pleased to announce the 2019-2020 CSUN AL$ Departmental Award. The top three departments with the largest number of new adoptions (within the 2019-2020 academic year) of open source textbooks or other low/no cost options -- that save at least 30% off the previously used textbooks -- and the top three departments with the highest percentage of Zero Cost Course Materials and Low Cost Course Materials designations (within the 2019-2020 academic year) will receive Affordable Learning Solutions funding as follows:

  • First Place: $5,000
  • Second Place: $3,500
  • Third Place: $1,500

New: We will be awarding at least one department within each college with the highest percentage of Zero Cost Course Materials and Low Cost Course Materials designations (within the 2019-2020 academic year). 

The funds must be used to make textbooks more affordable and may include resources, software, and other items, and/or professional development opportunities. Winners will sign an MOU and submit an expense report. To apply, please enter course data from the 2019-2020 academic year by April 27th, 2020 using the award form.

We are no longer accepting course data submissions and will announce the winners by May 31.

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