Federal Textbook Requirement
By July 1, 2010, institutions that receive Title IV funds must, “to the maximum extent practicable,” disclose on their Internet course schedule the International Standard Book Number (“ISBN”) and retail price information of required and recommended textbooks and supplemental materials for each course listed on the institution’s course schedule. If the ISBN number is not available, the institution must include the author, title, publisher and copyright date instead. Finally, if the institution determines it is not practicable to disclose either the ISBN number or the alternative information, it must place “To Be Determined” on its Internet course schedule.
Institutions also must, as soon as practical and at the bookstore’s request, provide their bookstore the institution’s course schedule for the subsequent academic period, the number of students enrolled in each course, the maximum student enrollment in each course, and the ISBN numbers and retail price information of all required or recommended textbooks and supplemental materials.
Institutions must also disclose on any written course schedules that textbook information is available on their internet course schedules and provide the web address.
Institutions are encouraged to provide students information on institutional programs for renting textbooks or buying used textbooks, institutional guaranteed textbook buy-back programs, institutional alternative content delivery programs, and other cost-saving strategies.
What is the "Higher Education Opportunity Act"?
The Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 110-315) (HEOA) was enacted on August 14, 2008, and reauthorizes the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (the HEA). The HEOA makes a number of changes to programs authorized under the HEA, authorizes new programs, and makes changes to other laws. It also imposes new reporting and disclosure obligations on institutions that participate in Title IV federal student financial aid programs. The U.S. Department of Education has published a “Dear Colleague Letter” which provides a summary of each provision of the HEOA. A copy of the Dear Colleague Letter is available at www.ed.gov/HEOA.
When did the "Higher Education Opportunity Act" go into effect?
The provisions of the HEOA were effective upon enactment, August 14, 2008, unless otherwise noted in the law. Information regarding the effective dates of specific HEOA provisions is available at: www.ed.gov/HEOA.
What is the rationale for this law?
Congress was responding to concerns expressed by student groups and others to the high cost of textbooks. The purpose of this legislation is to ensure that students have timely access to affordable course materials at postsecondary institutions receiving Federal financial assistance.
As a Faculty member why am I required to provide my textbook information so early?
The HEOA requires that the information regarding textbooks and supplemental materials be provided to students at the time of registration. Like many schools, registration at the University begins in October/November for spring semester and March/April for summer and fall semesters. Faculty must submit their orders before the registration date so that the information can be posted online.
What are the publisher's responisibilites to faculty, as stipulated in the Higher Education Opportunity Act ("HEOA"), Section 133, regarding how prices of course materials are quoted?
- COLLEGE TEXTBOOK PRICING INFORMATION.—When a publisher provides a faculty member or other person or adopting entity in charge of selecting course materials at an institution of higher education receiving Federal financial assistance with information regarding a college textbook or supplemental material, the publisher shall include, with any such information and in writing (which may include electronic communications), the following:
- The price at which the publisher would make the college textbook or supplemental material available to the bookstore on the campus of, or otherwise associated with, such institution of higher education and, if available, the price at which the publisher makes the college textbook or supplemental material available to the public.
- The copyright dates of the three previous editions of such college textbook, if any.