Zero Cost Textbook Marking

 Why mark your courses as Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC)? 

Reporting Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) course(s) improves transparency for our students. Doing so also complies with Texas Legislation.

Even if you are not adopting a textbook, you are still asked to complete textbook adoption, so that students will know that your course does not have a required textbook to purchase. More information can be found on the Textbook Adoptions page through Faculty Affairs. 

OER Texas Education Code

Texas Senate Bill 810 2017 and TEC 51.542 define OER as "...teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that allows for free use, reuse, modification, and sharing with others, including full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge." 

OER textbooks, like those from OpenStax and Open Textbook Library, are free for students with no associated fees and have a Creative Commons of a Public Domain license, they are therefore licensed for free use, reuse, modification, and sharing. Learn more about finding OER or Creative Commons Licensing

OER support student success because they are: 

  • Free
  • Available on Class Day One
  • Easily and continuously accessible

Complying with Texas Legislation

To comply with SB 810 and HB 1027, Bell Library has worked with the Office of the Registrar, Office of the Provost, CIT, and other TAMU-CC divisions to deploy the ZTC filter in the Course Schedules. 

Students can apply the Zero Textbook Costs filter when registering for courses.

ZTC Defined
Attribute Definition Examples
Zero Textbook Costs  Courses with total learning materials cost of  zero that are either Creative Commons licensed, or available to students for FREE. Open Educational Resources from Open Textbook Library, OpenStax, or any materials available to students through the library. 


Please note, if you are a faculty member planning to use library resources as required reading for a class, please email to ensure that students will have the requisite access.  

Searching for Zero Textbook Costs Courses

Students can search for courses that are designated Zero Textbook Cost by using the "Select Course Type" dropdown option: 


Disclaimer: The ZTC marker is not 100% accurate; due to a number of factors, there is a margin for error and at this time it is unclear how large the margin of error is. It might be possible that a course is marked as ZTC that is not. Because it may be possible that a course is marked ZTC erroneously, you may contact the professor to confirm if the course is ZTC. 

ZTC Course Cost Savings

Since the implementation of the Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) Course marker in registration, students are now able to search for courses where there either is no required textbook, or the texts are free to students. This not only results in students having access to any required reading on the first day of class, students are also able to save an average of $100 per class that is designated as ZTC: 

ZTC Savings
Semester Number of course sections designated ZTC Number of students enrolled in ZTC Courses Savings to students
Spring 2022 193 4,964 $496,400
Summer 2022 54 921 $92,100
Fall 2022 195 4,885 $488,500
Spring 2023 349 7,196 $719,600


Data collected from TAMU-CC IT department based on registration data, datasets includes courses that are either seminar or lecture format.