70+ Student Leaders Call On Congress to Renew Open Textbook Pilot

Media Contacts

Dear Chairs and Ranking Members,

We the undersigned student representatives of America’s colleges and universities write to you today on the urgent need to address the skyrocketing price of textbooks, and to urge you to renew and strengthen the Open Textbooks Pilot in the FY19 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill.

Textbooks and other materials are one of the largest hidden costs students experience in their pursuit of a degree. Students regularly pay hundreds of dollars each semester for books they can only resell for pennies on the dollar, and increased use of expiring access codes hides essential homework assignments behind an online paywall. Sixty-five percent of students have skipped buying a textbook at some point because of cost, and each year, $3 billion of federal student aid goes to pay for textbooks, according to the Student PIRGs.

Open textbook can get students the materials they need to succeed on day one of class, for free. These open course materials are high quality, peer reviewed educational resources that are published under an open copyright that makes them free to download and can be printed at cost. Studies from BYU and Achieving the Dream indicate that the use of open textbooks increases student learning outcomes, lets them take more courses, and graduate on time.

Thank you for making a $5 million investment in open textbooks in FY18. As you work towards a final FY19 bill, we urge you to maintain the additional $5 million investment for new grants in the Open Textbooks Pilot contained in the Senate-passed bill.




Associated Students of the University of Missouri

            Natalie Butler, Executive Director

Association of Big Ten Students

            Sarah Henry, Director of Legislative Affairs

            Robert Griggs, Executive Director

Association of Young Americans

            Ally Bernstein, Legislative Counsel

Bemidji State University

            Connor Newby, Student Body President

Berkshire Community College

            Don Ross, Student Government Association President

Bunker Hill Community College

            Cam Do, Student Trustee

CalPIRG Students

            Sophie Haddad, State Board Chair

Campbell University

            Brendi Bluitt, Student Body President

Central Washington University

            Leah Mobley, Vice President for Legislative Affairs

ConnPIRG Students

            Kharl Reynado, State Board Chair

East Tennesee State University

            Megha Gupta, Student Body President

Eckerd College

            Marissa Bradley, Student Body President

Emory University

            Sania Chandrani, Student Government Vice President

Emporia State University,

            Michael Webb, Student Body President

Essex County College (NJ)

            Nelson O. Ejezie, Student Body President

Holyoke Community College

            Dylan Burns, Student Body President

Indiana University

            Alex Wisniewski, Student Body President

Lousiana State University, Eunice

            Lauren Michelle Johnson, Student Body President

Maryland PIRG Students

            Tino Fragale, President

Massachusetts Bay Community College

            Matthew Mori, Vice President for Student Affairs

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

            Declan Nolan, Student Government Association President

MassPIRG Students

            Theresa Soldan, State Board Chair

Michigan State University

            Katherine Rifiotis, Student Body President

            Maysa Sitar, Executive Board Member

NJPIRG Students

            April Nicklaus, State Board Chair

North Shore Community College

            Nirwendjie Altidor, President

Ohio State University

            Shamina Merchant, Student Body President

Oregon Student Association

            Lamar Wise, Executive Director

OSPIRG Students

            Darce O’Brien, State Board Chair

Pennsylvania State University

            Cody Heaton, Student Body President

Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM)

            Zac Bears, Executive Director

Purdue University

            Aaron Banks, Student Body President

Rutgers University, New Brunswick

            Suzanne Link, Student Body President

Rutgers University, Newark

            Sabrina Ahmed, Student Body President

Salem State University

            Andrew Carden, Student Government President

Salem State University

            Paul Wilkens, Student Trustee

Skidmore College

            Riley Filister, Vice President for Academic Affairs

Southern Oregon University

            Alexis Phillips, Student Body President

Students United (MN)

            Sarah Berns, Director of Government Relations

Texas Tech University

            John Getz, Graduate Student Body Vice President

            Sean Lewis, Student Body President

University of California Council of Student Body Presidents

            Michael Skiles, Chair

University of California Student Association

            Caroline Siegel Singh, President

University of California, Berkeley

            Nuha Khalfay, External Vice President

University of California, Davis

            Edgar Masias Malagon, External Affairs Vice President

            Jonathan Minnick, Graduate Student Association President

University of California, Irvine

            Holly Woods, External Vice President

University of California, Los Angeles

            Michelle Viorato, Graduate External Vice President

            Claire Fieldman, Student Body President

University of California, Merced

            Lindsey Huizar, External Vice President

            Stacey Ascencio, Student Body President

University of California, Riverside

            Semi Cole, Student Body President

University of California, San Diego

            Kiara Gomez, Associated Students President

            Melissa Vipperman-Cohen, Graduate President

University of California, Santa Cruz

            Davon Thomas, External Vice President

University of Central Arkansas

            Joshua Eddinger-Lucero, Student Government Association Executive President

University of Connecticut, Storrs

            Ama Appiah, Student Body President

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

            Walter Lindwall, Student Body President

University of Iowa

            Hira Mustafa, Student Body President

University of Maryland, College Park

            Jonathan Allen, Student Body President

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

            Timmy Sullivan, Student Body President

Nathalie Amazan, Student Government Vice President

University of Massachusetts, Boston

            Katie Mitrano, Student Body President

University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

            Tyler Varda, Student Government President

University of Massachusetts, Lowell

            Andre DiFilippo, Student Body President

University of Michigan

            Daniel Greene, Student Body President

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

            Maxwell Hurst, Director of Government & Legislative Affairs

            Simran Mishra, Student Body President

University of Missouri, Columbia

            Andrew Goewert, Associated Students President

            Julia Wopata, Student Body President

University of Missouri, Saint Louis

            Adam Rapert, Associated Students President

University of Nebraska, Lincoln

            Hunter Traynor, Student Body President

University of Pittsburgh

            Maggie Kennedy, Student Government Board President

            Cory Stillman, Vice President

University of San Diego

            Chris Hermes, Student Body Vice President

University of Texas at Arlington

            Yash Singh, Student Body President

University of Virginia

            Alex Cintron, Student Council President

University of Washington, Seattle

            Ritika Jain, Associated Students President

University of Wisconsin, Madison

            Billy Welsh, Student Body President

Washington Student Association

            Guillermo Rogel Jr, Executive Director

WashPIRG Students

            Madison Longbottom, State Board Chair