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Affordable Learning $olutions

The official website of the CSUN AL$ initiative.

AL$ Awards

Individual Award:

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. 


NEW! Departmental Award:

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

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 10th, 2020 using the award form.


In 2017 and 2019, CSUN was awarded two AB 798 Grants ($100,000) and additional AL$ funding by the State of California to facilitate the adoption of OER (Open Educational Resources) and other affordable course materials. The Matador AL$ Award is a way for faculty to get involved in the CSUN AL$ initiative, and is co-organized by the Matador AL$ Award Committee members from The Oviatt Library, The Campus Store, Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES), and the Faculty Technology Center (FTC).

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 Spring 2020 Courses (current participants)


Since funding is limited, you are encouraged to apply for Spring participation as early as possible.

Application Due: 11/15/2019

Notification: 12/1/2019

Deadline to provide AL$ with your new syllabus: 1/17/2020

Deadline to submit your report: 3/23/2020


For Summer and Fall 2020 Courses


Details will be coming up soon. 


*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.



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