OER Support for UTSA Faculty

Educational Inequity

Financial Impact of Higher Education

A US Department of Education study conducted in 2006, demonstrated that 2.4 million did not finish college because of cost in the first decade of this century (Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance).  While students cite many different stressors that contribute to higher education cost overall, the cost of course materials is ahead of housing and food in triggering stress (NACS, 2018). While textbooks are a fraction of the entire cost of higher education, they are still a worry that contributes to the larger issue of inequity in access and a significant expense for students, coming in second only to tuition concerns (NACS, 2018). Textbooks are also the one area where faculty are the key decision-makers and can really make a difference in the lives of their students.


Table 1: Student PIRG: Biggest Cost Challenges
Percentage of Expenses Challenge
61.65% Tuition
39.56% Course Materials
38.10% Housing Costs
31.02% Food Expenses
30.18% Living Expenses
18.49% Transportation
15.45% Technology
7.66% Additional School Supplies
3.04% Daycare
2.16% Other