Estimated 2019-21 Student Savings in No-Cost/Low-Cost Courses

By | August 27, 2021

This post reports on the statewide estimated student savings represented by Oregon’s no-cost/low-cost course designation for the 2019-21 biennium, mandated by Oregon’s HB 2871 (2015). The previous report of this type can be found in the post Estimated 2017-19 Student Savings in No-Cost/Low-Cost Courses.

Each college and university reports savings data using the method that works best for their own local campus environment. This means that the people who created the data make the case for how they use it. Each institution shows their work by sharing their method so that the aggregated estimate can be understood as a sum of differentiated components. More information on this approach to OER savings estimates can be found in the post Support for a local approach to data collection.

2019-21 Statewide Savings Estimate

Out of Oregon’s 24 public colleges and universities, 18 provided data for this report: 12 colleges and 6 universities. Five colleges and one university did not participate, either because they have not yet implemented the no-cost/low-cost schedule designation, or because the data was not available in time.

Student enrollment is represented by 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount data provided by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission Office of Research and Data. Fall, fourth week enrollment is the data that is provided by both colleges and universities; using headcount rather than full-time equivalent shows how many individual students may see impact from no-cost/low-cost courses.

  • 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for the participating institutions: 167,928
  • 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for all Oregon colleges and universities: 185,158

In round numbers, 75% of Oregon’s colleges and universities shared data for this report, representing over 90% of the students in the state. The courses with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule at these institutions are estimated to have saved over 600,000 students in 32,000 course sections almost $50 million in two academic years. At the reporting institutions, almost 20% of courses offered were designated no-cost or low-cost.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Summer 2019 1804 24,006 $1,871,186 9878 18.26
Fall 2019 4463 90,313 $7,068,830 25755 17.33
Winter 2020 4656 83,657 $6,756,511 26391 17.64
Spring 2020 4345 72,468 $5,708,451 25088 17.32
Summer 2020 1632 28089 2309134 9191 17.76
Fall 2020 4909 90791 7863697.11 24704 19.87
Winter 2021 5122 90211 7256056.54 23963 21.37
Spring 2021 5284 89504 7439402.35 24196 21.84
Total 32737 602,646 $49,392,244 171846 19.05

Savings estimates will always be just that – an estimate. In part, this is because student behavior is so varied: some buy used, rent, unbundle, share, sell back, order overseas, pirate, or skip a purchase altogether, and pricing for every option can change from one day to the next. Still, it is important to collect and share this data because it communicates the effectiveness of the no-cost/low-cost schedule designation and also shows the impact that faculty choices have on students.

A common theme among reporting institutions is that they would like to have more accurate and timely information from faculty on course materials adoptions. Oregon’s HB 2919, passed in 2021, addresses this issue by requiring institutions to report course materials adoption for 75% of sections in time for cost information to be available to students when registration for the next term begins. This will enable students to plan ahead for their schedules and budgets, and will make the no-cost/low-cost schedule designation more meaningful.

Comparison with 2017-19 Statewide Savings Estimate

Open Oregon Educational Resources reported on statewide estimated student savings represented by Oregon’s no-cost/low-cost course designation for the first time in the 2017-19 biennium. With new data now available for the 2019-21 biennium, it is possible to report on a change over time.

For the 2017-19 biennium, 19 institutions representing nearly 90% of students in the state provided data. The courses with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule at these institutions were estimated to have saved over 375,000 students in 21,000 course sections approximately $34 million from 2017-19. At the reporting institutions, approximately 12% of all courses were designated no-cost or low-cost.

The table below shows that while the total number of sections offered at reporting institutions decreased slightly in the 2019-21 biennium, the percentage of sections with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule increased by over 50%. Over 200,000 additional students (by headcount) enrolled in designated sections and estimated student savings saw a 44% increase, representing increased savings of approximately $15 million.

# Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
2017-19 Totals 21,914 379,348 $34,178,056 178,815 12.26%
2019-21 Totals 32,737 602,646 $49,392,244 171,846 19.05%
Difference +10,823 +223,298 +$15,214,188 -6,969 +6.79%
Percent change +49.39% +58.86% +44.51% -3.90% +55.38%

Per Institution Breakdown

Oregon institutions are not required to use a consistent method for calculating student savings represented by the statewide no-cost/low-cost schedule designation. Instead, each campus estimates student savings using the method that is the best fit for them. The resulting statewide estimate aggregates the data reported irrespective of method. The post Support for a local approach to data collection provides more context for this approach.

The sections below show how each reporting institution arrived at their savings numbers.

Central Oregon Community College

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness at Central Oregon Community College provided a spreadsheet with 4th week enrollment numbers for courses with low-cost or no-cost materials. COCC used $100 as the savings estimate for no-cost courses, and $60 as the savings estimate for low-cost courses (because their low-cost threshold is $40). The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for Central Oregon Community College was 5,534.

While the total number of sections offered at Central Oregon Community College decreased by 12% compared to the 2017-19 biennium, the percentage of sections with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule increased by 19%. Nearly 2,000 additional students enrolled in designated sections and estimated student savings saw an 8% increase, representing increased savings of $174,780.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Summer 2019 90 972 $85,160 222 40.54
Fall 2019 310 4,919 $438,620 796 38.94
Winter 2020 333 4,583 $415,740 793 41.99
Spring 2020 238 3,316 $297,360 652 36.50
Summer 2020 81 1063 101420 223 36.32
Fall 2020 224 3434 307520 678 33.04
Winter 2021 259 3680 324400 644 40.22
Spring 2021 229 3392 306120 618 37.06
Total 1764 25,359 $2,276,340 4626 38.13

Chemeketa Community College

Chemeketa Community College used $100 as the savings estimate for no-cost courses, and $60 as the savings estimate for low-cost courses (because their low-cost threshold is $40). The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for Chemeketa Community College was 9,832. Data for the 2017-19 biennium was not available.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Summer 2019 430 2,040 $189,673 713 60.31
Fall 2019 750 12,864 $1,077,146 1502 49.93
Winter 2020 1198 13,112 $1,274,863 2076 57.71
Spring 2020 1003 7,885 $738,816 1760 56.99
Summer 2020 187 2261 $189,416.18 440 42.50
Fall 2020 808 9429 $832,972.80 1596 50.63
Winter 2021 999 10952 $1,016,705.19 1729 57.78
Spring 2021 778 9798 $877,538.10 2097 37.10
Total 6153 68,341 $6,197,129 11913 51.65

Clatsop Community College

Our methodology was to start with the textbook adoptions reported to the bookstore and identify the no cost classes and those with costs at $40 or under. We pulled enrollment data for each class section but did not include students who dropped out of the classes. For each student in a no-cost class, we estimated $100 in savings; for each student in a low-cost class, we estimated $60 in savings. The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for Clatsop Community College was 784.

The total number of sections offered at Clatsop Community College increased by over 200% compared to the 2017-19 biennium, and the percentage of sections with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule decreased by 4%. Over 1,200 additional students enrolled in designated sections and estimated student savings saw a 94% increase, representing increased savings of $99,170.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Summer 2019 18 144 $9,280 41 43.90
Fall 2019 31 359 $25,740 145 21.38
Winter 2020 45 428 $31,120.00 147 30.61
Spring 2020 40 326 $26,560.00 143 27.97
Summer 2020 19 174 11280 47 40.43
Fall 2020 43 368 27920 130 33.08
Winter 2021 47 438 34360 127 37.01
Spring 2021 46 449 38,660 118 38.98
Total 289 2686 $204,920 898 32.18

Columbia Gorge Community College

Columbia Gorge Community College uses the $100 multiplier to estimate savings. No-cost/low cost sections offered that didn’t fill were counted towards designated sections, though they didn’t result in student savings. The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for Columbia Gorge Community College was 1,034.

The total number of sections offered at Columbia Gorge Community College increased by 9% compared to the 2017-19 biennium, and the percentage of sections with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule decreased by 5%. Over 600 additional students enrolled in designated sections and estimated student savings saw a 26% increase, representing increased savings of $161,800.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Summer 2019 26 338 $33,800 30 86.67
Fall 2019 96 1,350 $135,000 137 70.07
Winter 2020 90 1,219 $121,900 124 72.58
Spring 2020 97 1,084 $108,400 142 68.31
Summer 2020 35 321 $32,100.00 46 76.09
Fall 2020 101 1,337 $133,700.00 147 68.71
Winter 2021 92 1,229 $122,900.00 135 68.15
Spring 2021 89 1,048 $104,800.00 141 63.12
Total 626 7,926 $792,600 902 69.40

Eastern Oregon University

Eastern Oregon University’s data begins in Spring 2021 because that is the first term during which the no-cost/low-cost designation was implemented. Savings are calculated by assuming an average savings of $100 per enrollment for zero cost sections and of $50 per enrollment for low cost sections. The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for Eastern Oregon University was 2,853.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Spring 2021 314 2,965 $266,150.00 735 42.72
Total 314 2,965 $266,150 735 42.72

Klamath Community College

The data for the no-cost/low cost designation was obtained from the Institutional Researchers Office. Enrollment is based on week 4 numbers for classes with a minimum enrollment of 10 students. The low-cost courses are estimated at a $60 per person savings. The no-cost courses are estimated at $100 savings per person. The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for Klamath Community College was 1,797.

While the total number of sections offered at Klamath Community College decreased by 5% compared to the 2017-19 biennium, the percentage of sections with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule increased by 23%. Nearly 5,000 additional students enrolled in designated sections and estimated student savings saw a 21% increase, representing increased savings of $81,400.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Summer 2019 22 397 $37,740.00 61 36.07
Fall 2019 11 289 $28,900.00 188 5.85
Winter 2020 30 604 $54,920.00 171 17.54
Spring 2020 28 600 $55,360.00 166 16.87
Summer 2020 23 400 $38,640.00 61 37.70
Fall 2020 57 1087 $106,180.00 171 33.33
Winter 2021 43 740 $68,280.00 165 26.06
Spring 2021 47 870 $81,240.00 131 35.88
Total 261 4,987 $471,260.00 1114 23.43

Lane Community College

Our OER/low-cost designation includes materials that cost $40 or less (this data uses $95.50 as a multiplier, an average of the $100 savings for no-cost and $60 savings for no-cost courses). The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for Lane Community College was 7,723.

The total number of sections offered at Lane Community College increased by 121% compared to the 2017-19 biennium, and the percentage of sections with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule increased by 43%. Over 20,000 additional students enrolled in designated sections and estimated student savings saw a 263% increase, representing increased savings of $2,112,851.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Summer 2019 48 993 $94,832 464 10.34
Fall 2019 213 4,844 $462,602 1358 15.68
Winter 2020 211 4,313 $411,892 1279 16.50
Spring 2020 212 4268 $407,594 1056 20.08
Summer 2020 69 1,262 $120,521 414 16.67
Fall 2020 251 5010 $478,455 1180 21.27
Winter 2021 242 4,958 $473,489 1,066 22.70
Spring 2021 254 4,874 $465,467 935 27.17
Total 1500 30,522 $2,914,851 7752 19.35

Linn-Benton Community College

Linn-Benton Community College has pivoted from the previous method used to track and report student savings. In 2021, LBCC stopped estimating savings based on the highest textbook price. As a result of our new Textbook Affordability Strategic Plan, our main metric will shift from estimated savings to the percentage of sections that receive $0 and under $40 designations. Sections that use open, library, and free resources to save students money (our historic metric, which is not the same as sections with materials under $40) will continue to be tracked by faculty reporting usage to the Campus Store. The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for Linn-Benton Community College was 6,437.

While the total number of sections offered at Linn-Benton Community College decreased by 11% compared to the 2017-19 biennium, the percentage of sections with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule increased by 55%. Nearly 6,000 additional students enrolled in designated sections. Because of the change in method for tracking savings, estimated student savings are not comparable to the previous biennium.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Summer 2019 26 507 $58,299.71 149 17.45
Fall 2019 188 4,511 $540,540.05 921 20.41
Winter 2020 185 3,958 $504,927.11 854 21.66
Spring 2020 190 3,943 $483,127.78 699 27.18
Summer 2020 42 766 $89,292.82 152 27.63
Fall 2020 245 5327 $596,918.26 849 28.86
Winter 2021 195 3956 * 779 25.03
Spring 2021 194 3563 * 726 26.72
Total 1265 26,531 $2,273,105.73 5129 24.66

Mt. Hood Community College

Estimated savings are calculated using the No-Cost/Low-Cost designation that faculty reported on the Course Section Reporting Form. We assumed a cost savings to the student of $100 in no-cost sections and $75 in low-cost sections. These numbers exclude College Now and Apprenticeship credit courses and some of our non-credit areas like Community Ed and Workforce. It does however include ABS/GED areas as these faculty are asked to fill out the course section reporting form. The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for Mt. Hood Community College was 7,164.

While the total number of sections offered at Mt. Hood Community College decreased by 65% compared to the 2017-19 biennium, the percentage of sections with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule increased by 116%. Over 22,000 additional students enrolled in designated sections and estimated student savings saw a 200% increase, representing increased savings of $2,080,675.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Total 522 33,607 $3,118,975.00 2680 19%

Oregon Institute of Technology

Oregon Tech’s No-Cost/Low-Cost designation went live in Winter 2020; no courses were designated in Winter or Spring 2020 so data reporting begins in Summer 2020. Oregon Tech uses $163 as the savings number for no-cost courses because that is the average cost of textbooks that have been converted in the internal initiatives program. Oregon Tech’s low-cost threshold is $50, so the estimated savings for low-cost courses is $113 ($163-$50). The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for Oregon Institute of Technology was 5,325.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Summer 2020 107 918 $141,934.00 421 25.42
Fall 2020 335 4720 $715,460.00 1048 31.97
Winter 2021 397 4936 $769,368.00 1001 39.66
Spring 2021 492 5843 $905,509.00 988 49.80
Total 1331 16,417 $2,532,271.00 3458 38.49

Oregon State University

To estimate cost savings, Oregon State University uses $75 as the average per textbook for no-cost courses in order to reflect more accurately the fact that many students rent, buy used, or rely on the library course reserves materials to acquire their textbook (OpenStax lowered their “lower-end” number to $79 to reflect the national textbook cost data). OSU uses $40 for low-cost courses. Thesis, dissertation and research sections were not counted. The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for Oregon State University was 33,359.

While the total number of sections offered at Oregon State University decreased by 15% compared to the 2017-19 biennium, the percentage of sections with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule increased by 534%. Over 125,000 additional students enrolled in designated sections and estimated student savings saw a 462% increase, representing increased savings of $7,512,590.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Summer 2019 364 8575 $509,885 1200 30.33
Fall 2019 798 23492 $1,420,780 3851 20.72
Winter 2020 686 21694 $1,234,170 4305 15.93
Spring 2020 637 19428 $1,127,380 4204 15.15
Summer 2020 294 8040 $461,640 1432 20.53
Fall 2020 707 23798 $1,414,735 3949 17.90
Winter 2021 840 26531 1573185 4141 20.28
Spring 2021 817 22627 1395985 4062 20.11
Total 5143 154185 $9,137,760 27144 18.95

Portland Community College

Savings are estimates and use $100 text cost as per the Open Oregon Educational Resources suggestion in Estimating student savings from no-cost/low-cost course materials. The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for Portland Community College was 27,040.

While the total number of sections offered at Portland Community College decreased by 11% compared to the 2017-19 biennium, the percentage of sections with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule increased by 43%. Over 9,000 additional students enrolled in designated sections and estimated student savings saw a 21% increase, representing increased savings of $1,733,240.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Summer 2019 456 4567 $456,700 2,548 17.90
Fall 2019 1069 13822 $1,382,200 5,693 18.78
Winter 2020 830 11114 $1,111,400 5,591 14.85
Spring 2020 972 10314 $1,031,400 5,320 18.27
Summer 2020 455 6340 $634,000 2,486 18.30
Fall 2020 1334 19014 $1,901,400 4,929 27.06
Winter 2021 1249 18090 $1,809,000 4,444 28.11
Spring 2021 1148 16480 $1,648,000 3,768 30.47
Total 7513 99741 $9,974,100 34,779 21.60

Portland State University

Our savings estimate uses $90 as an average expenditure per student, per course. This average is a commonly used figure in literature and research on open (see, for example, Hilton, Robinson, Wiley, and Ackerman’s article, Cost-savings achieved in two semesters through the adoption of open educational resources). Portland State University currently only designates no-cost courses but the low-cost designation will be available beginning in Fall 2022. The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for Portland State University was 23,979.

While the total number of sections offered at Portland State University decreased by 9% compared to the 2017-19 biennium, the percentage of sections with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule increased by 31%. Nearly 8,000 additional students enrolled in designated sections and estimated student savings saw a 33% increase, representing increased savings of $703,890.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Summer 2019 52 882 $79,380 1,629 3.19
Fall 2019 197 4,096 $368,640 4,677 4.21
Winter 2020 294 5,163 $464,670 4,566 6.44
Spring 2020 267 4,505 $405,450 4,390 6.08
Summer 2020 78 1,378 $124,020 1,416 5.51
Fall 2020 242 5,329 $479,610 4,361 5.55
Winter 2021 281 4,797 $431,730 4,318 6.51
Spring 2021 277 5,221 $469,890 4,244 6.53
Total 1688 31371 $2,823,390 29,601 5.70

Rogue Community College

To estimate student savings at Rogue Community College from designated no-cost/low-cost course designations on the schedule, we ran a report on the sections that were flagged the “no-cost/low-cost” designation in the institution’s management system, RogueNet. For the headcount, we use the estimated figure of 20 students per section. We used the established figure of $100 as the cost of a traditional textbook to compare to no-cost/low-cost textbooks. The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for Rogue Community College was 3,619.

To capture a range of the estimated student savings for no-cost textbooks and low-cost textbooks, we multiplied the estimated number of enrolled students (20 per section) by:

  • 60 which represents what students save when they purchase a low-cost textbook defined as $40 and under. Sixty is the most conservative figure to use to estimate savings for a low-cost textbook.
  • 100 which represents what students save when they use open educational resources and/or no textbook is required for the class.
  • The reported savings estimate is an average of these two calculations.

This report is a testament to the hard work put forth by RCC faculty to adopt open educational resources or find other no-cost/low-cost alternatives. Grassroots efforts from RCC faculty to adopt OER have now saved students millions of dollars. These faculty efforts should be celebrated and better recorded. Saving students money and providing more opportunity for students to access their course materials on the first day of term supports student retention and completion, and aligns with RCC’s own goals to improve access to educational opportunities and student success.

While the total number of sections offered at Rogue Community College decreased by 38% compared to the 2017-19 biennium, the percentage of sections with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule increased by 38%.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Summer 2019 139 2780 $222,400 827 16.81
Fall 2019 258 5160 $412,800 1239 20.82
Winter 2020 297 5940 $475,200 1356 21.90
Spring 2020 228 4560 $364,800 1368 16.67
Summer 2020 149 2980 $238,400.00 334 44.61
Fall 2020 319 6380 $510,400.00 815 39.14
Winter 2021 70 1400 $112,000.00 611 11.46
Spring 2021 263 5260 $420,800.00 679 38.73
Total 1723 34460 $2,756,800 7229 23.83

Southwestern Oregon Community College

Southwestern Oregon Community College’s institutional researcher prepared a report showing all classes marked as LC or NC in the student information system (Jenzabar), along with student enrollments per section. The higher course and enrollment numbers beginning in Spring 18 reflect progress in moving from pilot to full implementation with the course schedule designation. SOCC used $100 as the savings estimate for no-cost courses, and $50 as the savings estimate for low-cost courses (because their low-cost threshold is $50). The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for Southwestern Oregon Community College was 1,976.

The total number of sections offered at Southwestern Oregon Community College increased by 62% compared to the 2017-19 biennium, and the percentage of sections with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule decreased by 7%. Approximately 2,500 additional students enrolled in designated sections and estimated student savings saw a 44% increase, representing increased savings of $168,700.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Summer 2019 26 245 $15,000 134 19.40
Fall 2019 44 788 $42,700 389 11.31
Winter 2020 103 1555 $113,750 425 24.24
Spring 2020 35 546 $29,150 344 10.17
Summer 2020 11 220 16200 71 15.49
Fall 2020 72 1252 91200 296 24.32
Winter 2021 92 1541 111350 337 27.30
Spring 2021 124 1925 136100 341 36.36
Total 507 8072 $555,450 2337 21.69

Umpqua Community College

The total estimated savings was calculated by using the estimate of $100 average per textbook (Is the average cost of a textbook $100?). For each student enrolled in a no-cost section, we calculated $100 in savings. For each student enrolled in a low cost section, we calculated $50. The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for Umpqua Community College was 3,118.

While the total number of sections offered at Umpqua Community College decreased by 3% compared to the 2017-19 biennium, the percentage of sections with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule increased by 82%. Approximately 2,500 additional students enrolled in designated sections and estimated student savings saw a 100% increase, representing increased savings of $315,150.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Summer 2019 16 201 $12,800 137 11.68
Fall 2019 104 1420 $130,950 441 23.58
Winter 2020 96 1184 $106,050 450 21.33
Spring 2020 82 955 $85,350 405 20.25
Summer 2020 16 202 $16,550 135 11.85
Fall 2020 63 1141 $105,550 404 15.59
Winter 2021 98 1178 $111,600 406 24.14
Spring 2021 38 672 $62,200 417 9.11
Total 513 6953 $631,050 2795 18.35

University of Oregon

At the time that we put together designation data for the 2017-19 biennium, we did not have access to actual enrollment numbers, so we had to rely on max enrollment numbers. For the 2019-21 biennium, we were able to track actual enrollment numbers and use those to more accurately estimate cost avoidance for low and no cost courses. We still prefer to frame this data as cost avoidance, as savings are hard to accurately estimate without knowing where students are purchasing materials, what format they purchase (new, used, rental, etc.), or if they purchase the materials at all.

Additionally, we have lowered the average cost of a book from $100 to $75 to align with OpenStax’s recommended revision of the national average cost of a textbook. This also aligns better with what some of our other Oregon colleagues are now using in their own savings estimates. Finally, it’s important to note that this data is pulled from our faculty textbook and course materials adoptions, which are supplied by our campus bookstore. Currently, only 30-40% of faculty consistently report book adoptions, so the data is not complete. We expect that these numbers will grow as we implement the requirements outlined by HB 2919. The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for University of Oregon was 21,800.

Formula: ($75 – Actual Cost) * Actual Enrollment = Savings

The total number of sections offered at the University of Oregon increased by 79% compared to the 2017-19 biennium, and the percentage of sections with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule decreased by 67%. Because of the change in method for tracking savings, estimated student enrollment and savings are not comparable to the previous biennium.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Summer 2019 91 1365 $66,237.36 1723 5.28
Fall 2019 394 12399 $602,213 4418 8.92
Winter 2020 258 8790 $435,910 4254 6.06
Spring 2020 316 10738 $547,704 4439 7.12
Summer 2020 66 1764 $93,720 1513 4.36
Fall 2020 108 3165 $161,676 4151 2.60
Winter 2021 218 5785 $297,689 4060 5.37
Spring 2021 174 4517 $260,943 4196 4.15
Total 1625 48523 $2,466,092 28754 5.65

Western Oregon University

Combined enrollment numbers for the biennium were provided by the registrar and multiplied by $100. The 2020 Fall, Fourth Week Headcount Enrollment for Western Oregon University was 4,554. Data for the 2017-19 biennium was not available.

Term # Designated Sections # Students in Designated Sections Estimated Savings Total sections offered % no-cost/low-cost
Total 931 15365 $1,536,500 6257 14.88

Data sources

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