Our Irresponsibilty in Spending Student Money

While visiting colleagues on the campus of Oregon Institute of Technology I wandered over to the bookstore. What I saw there horrified me. I presume things are the same at "your place." Textbook prices were very high, unbelievably high.  Typical mathematics textbooks were in the $150-$250 range with used or rental (the latter for 180 days) fees going for half the list price. We saw books in the $300 range and one book, Advertising Promotion and Other Aspects of Integrated Marketing Communications, by Shimp and Andrews, was priced at $410.50 with a used version for $308.00. YIKES!!!

What are we doing to our students?  Imagine being enrolled in a public community college or high priced private college. The price of one semester's books (say for 5 courses) at modest estimate of$200/course would be $1,000. And that is just one semester's books.

There are many open resource books now coming on line from authors who are tired of ravaging their students' pocketbooks and who are also convinced they can offer a very adequate FREE text, in many cases a better text. We need to encourage this approach by investigating and then recommending  some of these free on-line text materials for our students in our courses.

We list a dozen differential equations on-line free text books in our resource, General Resources For Teaching Differential Equations found at Consider using one of these texts and reaping the benefits of quality text support materials while saving your students hundreds of dollars. A number of SIMIODE colleagues are doing this on behalf of quality learning and their students and we can easily increase these numbers if we just look at these resources and see their merits. We urge you to do just this.

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