To reduce the cost of books for students, Florida International University in Miami has launched an online initiative to recognize the faculty who provide lower-cost educational materials for students. When professors select course materials that cost US$60 or less, the school awards them the Affordability Counts Medallion. To date, 103 professors teaching 150 courses have received the medallion.
Program results will be shared with members of the Florida Virtual Campus Council on Distance Learning and Student Services. In addition, FIU has created the FIU Textbook Affordability Task Force, led by the office of the provost. The task force has spearheaded FIU’s institutionwide efforts to find and create initiatives that make higher education more affordable. FIU also has joined the OpenStax Institutional Partnership Program, which encourages the use of free open source textbooks. FIU is one of 11 universities invited to participate in this strategic partnership in 2017–2018.
“At FIU we are concerned about costs because so many of our students are first-generation college students and come from families of modest means,” says FIU president Mark B. Rosenberg. These cost-saving measures are all critical as a way to make higher education more affordable for a wider population.