Worried About Textbook Costs? MyMadison Shows Courses with No-Cost or Low-Cost Course Materials

Posted on: March 31, 2024

Students, did you know that when you are enrolling in courses, you can filter your course search for those with low-cost or no-cost course materials? 

If the total cost of textbooks for a course is $40 or less at the JMU Bookstore, instructors are asked to add this information to the JMU system so students who need courses with affordable textbooks can find them more easily.

This is part of an initiative by JMU Libraries and the JMU Office of the Registrar to help students who are struggling with the cost of textbooks.

Scroll down to Course Attribute near the bottom of the page. Select No/Low Cost Course Materials from the dropdown menu.

How do I find low/no-cost courses?

When searching for courses in MyMadison, scroll down to the “Course Attribute” dropdown and select “No/Low Cost Course Materials” to narrow your search results to courses with materials under $40. If you don’t see the “Course Attribute” dropdown, you may need to expand the “Additional Search Criteria” menu.

Why use JMU Bookstore prices?   

While the JMU Bookstore is only one of many options to purchase textbooks, their pricing provides a clear benchmark for how much texts might cost.    

What does textbook affordability look like at JMU?   

JMU students reported in a 2021 survey that the cost of course materials influenced their decision to not register for a course (34%), drop (20%) or withdraw (14%) from a course, or take fewer courses (24%). Indicating no and low-cost materials is one way JMU Libraries is collaborating with faculty and other partners across the university to promote the use of open and affordable course materials in our courses. Thanks to the Registrar’s office, students will now be able to filter their course search in MyMadison to show no-cost and low-cost courses.  

Where can I get more information?  

Here are more tips for finding affordable textbooks.

Resources for Faculty

Faculty, here’s a list of 11 easy ways you can help to make textbooks more affordable–we can help! To learn more about open and affordable course materials, visit our Open Education at JMU page or contact Liz Thompson, Open Education Librarian, at thomp3ea@jmu.edu. 

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