Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Textbook Affordability: Resources and Alternatives: Home

Information and resources for both faculty and students to help decrease the cost of textbooks.


Welcome to the NIU Libraries' Textbook Affordability Guide! This guide includes information and resources for both faculty and students to help decrease the cost of textbooks. For information about NIU's Textbook Affordability Task Force, click on the tab above or contact Dee Anna Phares, or Leanne VandeCreek,

Click to submit a Textbook Request:

Free E-Textbooks to Help with Instructional Continuity

As students and faculty across the country deal with the complications of moving toward all online instruction, there has been a concerted effort to expand access to free e-resources. Not all textbooks are available, but many are available at no cost. Visit these sites to find out whether your required texts are being offered at no charge.

Please consult the "For Faculty" and "For Students" tabs to find more information on the resources available to you.

Student Success Suffers Because of Textbook Costs

Infographic from

Quick Facts

♦ The average student spends between $1220-$1420 on books and supplies. 

♦ Between 2002 and 2013, the price of college textbooks rose 82 percent—nearly three times the rate of inflation.

♦ 65% of students said that they had decided against buying a textbook because it was too expensive.

♦ Nearly half of all students surveyed said that the cost of textbooks impacted how many/which classes they took each semester.

♦ 82% of students felt they would do significantly better in a course if the textbook was available free online and buying a hard copy was optional.