Affordable Course Materials

College is expensive between tuition, textbooks, living costs and more. The Affordable Learning Exchange (ALX) wants to help you navigate your options and find courses with affordable materials. Whether it's deeply discounted digital textbooks through CarmenBooks or instructors using free and low-cost materials, this page can help you find courses that fit your budget.


CarmenBooks is an inclusive access program that offers digital copies of selected textbooks for a fraction of the cost of a new, physical copy, as well as discounted access to publisher homework systems.

If you register for a course using CarmenBooks, you will see this discounted textbook cost reflected as a course fee. When enrolling in courses in BuckeyeLink, you will see the text "Digital Textbook Fee" under the "Enrollment Information" section. This example shows how the fee may appear in BuckeyeLink.

With CarmenBooks, you can:

  • Save up to 80% off retail price for your course materials
  • Access publisher homework systems you already use, at a significant discount
  • Access digital course materials through Carmen before your class begins
  • Retain access to your digital course materials for as long as you are a student at Ohio State

Find courses using CarmenBooks

No- and Low-cost Course Materials

Instead of using costly traditional textbooks, many instructors at Ohio State take advantage of Open Educational Resources (OERs), which are course materials that are freely available to students. Several instructors also received ALX grants to write or compile their own digital textbooks or set up lending libraries of necessary supplies. Some instructors use a combination of OERs and low-cost options such as online articles in place of a full textbook.

We want students to be able to find these no- and low-cost options, so we've gathered information from instructors who have reported that their course materials cost $65 or lessand most are actually free!

Explore Autumn 2023 Options       Explore Spring 2024 Options