San Diego Community College District Receives $975,000 Federal Grant to Expand Free Online Textbook Program

San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) received a federal grant of $975,000 to expand a free online manual program.

The money will be used to create more textbook-free courses, which use free digital media. Educational materials created through this grant will be labeled with a Creative Commons license, which means individuals across the state will have free access.

This decision saves students from having to buy expensive books for classes. Textbook prices, which have risen more than 800% since 1978, can be a barrier to education.

“The cost of buying textbooks can often be more than what our students pay to take courses at our colleges,” said SDCCD Chancellor Dr. Carlos O. Cortez. “Providing more textbook-free classes is part of our district’s commitment to ensuring all students have access to an education.”

The Community Funding Project grant came through the support of U.S. Representative Scott Peters who sought the funds.

“Lower textbook costs help community college students face one less burden as they pursue their academic goals,” Peters said. “With rising tuition and textbooks, programs that increase affordability encourage students who need support the most. I thank the San Diego Community College District for this work and hope to see more programs like this in many other districts.

Lucas E. Kelly