Open Textbook Grants

The open textbook grant initiative provides a financial incentive for Western Michigan University faculty and instructors to switch from traditional expensive textbooks to high-quality, free open textbooks.


Colleges and universities have developed open textbooks and course content in response to concerns about the affordability of traditional textbooks. Textbook prices have risen 1,041% since 1977, higher than medical costs and the Consumer Price Index.

Many students who can’t afford their textbooks have found a simple, but concerning solution—they don’t buy them. According to research sponsored by Florida Virtual University in 2018, 64% of students did not purchase a required textbook. In addition, 42% of students took fewer courses and 22% dropped a course due to textbook costs. Open textbooks and course content provide an alternative to expensive textbooks.

Adoption grant opportunity

University Libraries is now accepting grant applications from WMU faculty and instructors to adopt an open textbook or open course content.

  • $1,000 grants (up to 10) will be awarded to faculty and instructors.

  • 2022 courses being taught in the spring, summer or fall are eligible.

  • Dec. 10 proposals are due and awardees will be notified by Dec. 17.


Applicants must be teaching a spring, summer or fall 2022 course to be eligible. Grant applications for undergraduate courses with high enrollment will receive priority consideration. 


Funds can be paid to individuals (taxed) or into individual or departmental research funds.


If you need help preparing your grant application, contact Beth Martin or work with your subject librarian.


  • Open textbooks have a Creative Commons license, which allows other instructors to use and adapt for their course and students to access them for free online.

    Beth Martin, OER Task Force Lead and OER Librarian

2020-21 grant recipients

  • Upul Attanayake, Department of Civil and Construction Engineering
  • Lori Brown, Department of Aviation Sciences
  • Jon D. Davis, Department of Mathematics
  • Jaqueline Eng, Intercultural and Anthropological Studies
  • Stephen Kaczmarek, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences
  • Joseph Kayany, School of Communication
  • Robert George Samples, Department of Marketing
  • Nathan Tabor, Department of History
  • WuWei Shen, Department of Computer Science
  • Yuan-kang Wang, Department of Political Science

Questions about the grant?