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Effective July 1, 2010, the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) requires all institutions receiving federal financial aid to publish, in time for registration, a list of all required and recommended books and other course materials for all classes offered at the institution. This includes all schools—undergraduate, graduate and professional. The items we must display are:

  • Book title, including edition
  • Book author
  • ISBN number
  • Retail price

This is an effort to make more transparent the cost of education, as indicated in the following statement from the HEOA:

PURPOSE AND INTENT—The purpose of this section is to ensure that students have access to affordable course materials by decreasing costs to students and enhancing transparency and disclosure with respect to the selection, purchase, sale, and use of course materials. It is the intent of this section to encourage all of the involved parties, including faculty, students, administrators, institutions of higher education, bookstores, distributors, and publishers, to work together to identify ways to decrease the cost of college textbooks and supplemental materials for students while supporting the academic freedom of faculty members to select high quality course materials for students.


Compliance Strategy

To comply with this requirement, the University Bookstore will solicit textbook information from all Faculty after class schedules have been published for an upcoming term. The information collected by the Bookstore will be integrated with PeopleSoft, so students may view their personalized book list once they have registered for classes. Students may also go directly to the Bookstore website, to look up book information for any class they may be interested in.

The primary challenge of this regulation is the timing of when this information is required.  While many faculty members will be able to provide information early, others, especially those planning new courses, might find this difficult. Fortunately, the law does allow posting of a "To Be Determined" message when book information is not yet available.  Textbook information should be provided to the Bookstore as soon as it is available.