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Affordable Learning @ Cleveland State University: Textbook Affordability Grants

The Michael Schwartz Library, in conjunction with various partners, including the Center for Faculty Excellence and the Center for eLearning, has been offering 3-5 Textbook Affordability Grants for faculty each semester since 2016. The goal of the grant is to encourage and support the creation or compilation of low-cost or no-cost course materials in order to save students money and encourage student-centered pedagogy.

Our grants have already saved CSU students over $1.7M.

Faculty whose projects are selected will receive grant amounts ranging from $500 to $2500 depending on the project. Appropriate support to find, adopt, or adapt an existing open educational textbook or other education resources to replace a traditional, high-cost textbook will be provided by the Michael Schwartz Library, the Center for eLearning, and the Center for Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, and the Center for Faculty Excellence. Five awards are available.

    Fall 2023 Application materials: (application due by December 1st, 2023)
    • 2023 Textbook Affordability Grant Overview (PDF)
    • Intent to Submit due by November 10th, 2023 (REQUIRED before applying)
    • 2023 Textbook Affordability Grant Application due by December 1st

      • Open Textbooks in Action: Profiles of Previous Grant Winners

        Grant Requirements

        Faculty awarded a grant will:

        • Complete the project by the end of the following semester or an alternative date to be approved by the grant committee
        • Use the selected or created material for at least two semesters
        • Attend a pre-application planning meeting with one or more Textbook Affordability Grant Selection Committee members to discuss the viability of your projec
        • Publicly share any course materials developed through this grant under a Creative Commons license
        • Use only grantee-authored, Creative Commons licensed (derivatives authorized), or public domain works in your open educational resource (if applicable).
        • If creating an original work, provide a list of potential peer reviewers to review the final product.
        • Evaluate the impact on student learning at the end of the course
        • Provide a report to the sponsors at the end of the project
        • Share experience with others through appropriate events or information channels such as the Provost’s Teaching Summit (held each year in April)


        Applications are judged according to the following criteria:

        • Total dollars saved (price of current course material costs X enrollment)
        • Articulated plan to assess impact and quality of student learning
        • Feasibility that others might adopt for other sections
        • Sustainability (how possible it will be to continue to use the new material(s) over a sustained period of time)
        • Priority will be given to projects that support general education courses attracting significant enrollments
        • Projects that have already received support via a Textbook Affordability Grant are not eligible to receive another grant
        • Visiting professors and graduate students are not eligible to receive a Textbook Affordability Grant

        Project Description

          Revise/Remix/Adapt an existing open textbook or other open education resource (OER) and/or create new open content to bridge gaps in available resources. New content may add chapters to existing open textbooks or be used to create ancillaries such as quiz question banks, lecture slides, or lab manuals.
          Goal: to replace a traditional, high-cost textbook with an open textbook, articles, book excerpts, audio, or video that are openly licensed or in the public domain.
          (Grant of $1,000; half up front/remainder upon completion of project.)

        Sponsorship/Selection Committee

          This grant is offered by the Michael Schwartz Library in collaboration with the Center for eLearning, Center for Instructional Technology and Distance Learning (CITDL), and the Center for Faculty Excellence. Selection committee members are:

          • Joanne Goodell, Director, Center for Faculty Excellence
          • Mandi Goodsett, Performing Arts & Humanities Librarian, OER & Copyright Advisor, Michael Schwartz Library
          • Caryn Lanzo, Director, Center for eLearning
          • Ann Marie Smeraldi, Interim Director, Michael Schwartz Library
          • Barb Loomis, Digital Scholarship Publications & Programs Coordinator, Michael Schwartz Library