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Textbook Information HEOA (Higher Education Opportunity Act) Policy


Expresses the college's compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act's provision regarding students having timely access to affordable course materials.

Policy Information

Policy Number Policy Owner
1023.1 College Auxiliary Services
  • 4.0 Policy

    The HOEA provisions support  students have timely access to affordable course materials at postsecondary institutions receiving Federal financial assistanceand include the following:

    When textbook publishers provide information on a college textbook or supplemental material to faculty in charge of selecting course materials at postsecondary institutions, that information must be in writing (including electronic communication) and must include:

    • the price of the textbook;
    • the copyright dates of the three previous editions (if any);
    • a description of substantial content revisions;
    • whether the textbook is available in other formats and if so, the price to the institution and to the general public;
    • the separate prices of textbooks unbundled from supplemental material; and
    • to the maximum extent possible, the same information for custom textbooks.

    To the maximum extent practicable, an institution must include on its Internet course schedule for required and recommended textbooks and supplemental material:

    • the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and retail price;
    • if the ISBN is not available, the author, title, publisher, and copyright date;
    • or if such disclosure is not practicable, the designation “To Be Determined.”

    If applicable, the institution must include on its written course schedule a reference to the textbook information available on its Internet schedule and the Internet address for that schedule.

    A postsecondary institution must provide the following information to its college bookstores upon request by such college bookstore:

    • the institution’s course schedule for the subsequent academic period; and
    • for each course or class offered, the information it must include on its Internet course schedule for required and recommended textbooks and supplemental material, the number of students enrolled, and the maximum student enrollment.

    Institutions disclosing the information they must include on their Internet course schedules for required and recommended textbooks and supplemental material are encouraged to provide information on:

    • renting textbooks;
    • purchasing used textbooks;
    • textbook buy-back programs; and
    • alternative content delivery programs.

    The HEOA also requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the implementation of this section and report to Congress (See Non-institutional Studies, Reports, and Summits, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Studies and Reports, Textbook Information) The Secretary is prohibited from regulating on this section of the HEA, but will monitor institutions and review student complaints relating to these provisions.

For additional information about this policy, please contact the Policy Owner listed above.

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