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Affordable Learning $olutions

The official website of the CSUN AL$ initiative.

Welcome to AL$!

What Is AL$?

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.

AL$ News

Middle Leadership Academy

AL$ Will Represent CSUN in 2022-23 CSU Student Success Network's Middle Leadership Academy

The CSUN Department of Chicano/a Studies is the largest and oldest such department in the country with a proud history of student activism and faculty dedication to social justice. AL$ shares the department's world views of social justice, fairness, and equality. In order to improve the affordability of course materials in high-impact courses like CHS 100, our goals are to reduce financial and academic barriers for CHS students and increase CHS student engagement and classroom participation. In line with the departments' curriculum and pedagogical praxis, we will work to reject profit-seeking systems which exploit CHS students and augment CHS faculty academic freedom without the influence of external interests. Read more.

Open Education Network Member

CSUN Library Joins Open Education Network

In its continued efforts to reduce the cost of textbooks for students, the CSUN Library recently joined the Open Education Network, a community of higher education institutions that promote access, affordability and student success through the use of open textbooks. Read the CSUN Today article here.

CSUN Act Now Town Hall Flyer

$avvy Ways to Save Money at C$UN Town Hall

Oct 27, 2021 4:00-5:15 PM. Click to watch event recording.

Stressed out about paying for school? Attend this event to discover CSUN hacks for getting the most out of college without breaking the bank. Panelists from the USU, Affordable Learning $olutions, Financial Aid, and other offices on campus will answer questions and give advice. In the registration form, you will have an opportunity to include questions for the panelists.

Organized by: CSUN Act Now Committee, USU, Office of Sustainability, Affordable Learning $olutions (University Library, Campus Store, DRES)

Why switch to affordable learning materials?

Improve Student

Many students delay purchasing required textbooks due to the high cost. Studies have shown that access to textbooks is a strong predictor of academic success. By ensuring that all students have access to required materials on day one, you will help set them up to succeed.


By adopting Open Educational Resources (OER), you control the content and pick only the resources and materials that are specific to your lesson plans and teaching style. It is also easier for you to adjust the course materials according to student needs given most OER are born digital.

Include More
Diverse Voices

Publishing Open Educational Resources (OER) presents fewer barriers to entry than the traditional textbook publishing industry. Utilizing OER will therefore be easier for you to include more diverse voices from marginalized communities in your course materials.

What are people saying?

That sounds great! How do I get started?

   Explore Cost-Reduction Strategies

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!

Learn How to Reduce Costs Browse Examples Contact a Librarian

   Look for Affordable Resources

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.

Find Affordable Resources Browse General Resources Browse Resources by Discipline

   Report Textbook Costs

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.

Report Your Textbook Costs

How can students get involved in AL$?

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!

Tips and Tricks

Did you know that you can filter by classes that are low-cost and zero-cost in Class Search? Or that the Campus Store has a price matching program? Check out our tips to help you minimize expenses!

Learn More

Submit a Course
Reserves Request

If you're having trouble accessing course materials for a particular class, fill out this quick, anonymous form to encourage your instructor to add required textbooks to the library's course reserves. 

Learn More

Engage in

From getting involved in student government to participating in Twitter campaigns, there are lots of ways to advocate for affordable textbooks! Check out this page for a few advocacy ideas.

Learn More

Report ADA Problems with Library Services and Resources