Perhaps you've never heard of OpenStax College.
I had not heard of it until I ran across an article today at a library website.
OpenStax College is a book publisher based at Rice University, and among other things, I guess, it publishes college textbooks.
It's making news because OpenStax has announced that it will double the number of online textbooks it publishes by 2015, thanks to a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
The books are offered for FREE.
The grant will let OpenStax develop and post books in six subjects -- precalculus, chemistry, economics, U.S. history, psychology and statistics.
Ultimately, according to the article I read at Infodocket.com, OpenStax plans to offer books for 25 of the nation's most-attended college courses. The university estimates students would save $750 million over five years.
What a great thing for a university to be doing. Instead of holding students and their parents under until they blubber (or quit), here's a university trying to help their constituents out by reducing their costs substantially.
As I have mentioned here previously, the text for a college course I taught at UT-Austin in the spring of 2012 cost north of $100. I didn't require students to buy it, and because of that I spent a lot more time and trouble developing materials.
Not complaining. But, a text would have been nice to get into their hands.
Some day soon it's to be hoped that colleges will let their students use these OpenStax books and save all that money.