Ozarks Technical Affordability Program

Although reports1 indicate the cost of course materials continues to decline there is still a real challenge to many students in purchasing the required materials for their courses.

Every semester, OTC Bookstore collaborates with departments and faculty to focus on student success and how this relates to affordability & accessibility. By removing non-essential course materials and finding more affordable options that still meet teaching & learning objectives OTC students can now spend 38% less than they did 3 years ago. These efforts also include leveraging publisher & vendor partnerships to negotiate lower pricing and cost friendly options.

There are many affordability success stories such as instructors that have created their own course materials by using openly licensed resources or utilizing the OTC Print Shop rather than a publisher to provide lab manuals at a lower cost. In 2018 the EMS program challenged the cost of a student kit and brought the price from $114 to $38. These student affordability initiatives cannot be achieved by one person or group but rather as a team.

As this collaboration continues to grow we will see cost to student drop even more, accessibility to support and materials increase and better communication lines between faculty, student and Bookstore.


Moving the Affordability Dial

What is Affordabilty/Open Education Resources (A/OER)?

This refers to courses that are using alternative formats that are more affordable than traditional resources. This can include but not limited to AutoAccess, OER and low-cost texts ($40 or less)

Cost average comparison:

  • Pre-AutoAccess 2018 courses: $150.64
  • AutoAccess 2020 (same) courses: $66.76
  • Non-A/OER 2020 courses average: $52.83
  • A/OER 2020 courses average: $42.63
  • Average Materials Cost Fall 2020: $51.59

Every dollar spent at the OTC Bookstore & OTC Print Shop supports our student's programs, facilities, and scholarships.

Total AA savings to date: $4.85 million

OpenOTC designates courses participating in offering Open Educational Resources (OER) to students. OER can be defined as teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use, whether you are an instructor, student or self-learner. Examples of OER include: full courses, course modules, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities, pedagogical materials, games, simulations, and many more resources contained in digital media collections from around the world.

Total estimated OER savings since Spring 2019: $186k

Source: https://openeducationalresources.pbworks.com

Visit the library link for additional OER information.



AutoAccess makes interactive and adaptive digital course materials automatically, Day 1 accessible, while drastically reducing the cost to students. We have upgraded our textbook model to improve access and affordability with the technology of today, and the future.


Book buyback helps to keep costs down for future OTC students and books in the OTC ecosystem. In 2019, OTC paid students $88,071.15 for their used course materials.




OTC has a lot of scholarship options! Like grants, they are a form of financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Most recipients are selected based on academics and need.




OTCCares is a collaboration of offices and departments throughout the college that exists to:

  • Provide strategic assistance and support to students in pursuit of their academic goals
  • Promote the safety and wellness of every OTC student