20 Million Minds Foundation Saving College Students $1 Million this Fall

Aug 14, 2012, 12:47 ET from 20 Million Minds Foundation

Free and Open Physics and Sociology Textbooks downloaded 10,000 times since June

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pioneers in the development and dissemination of high-quality Open Educational Resources (OER) textbooks for college students, the 20 Million Minds Foundation (20MM), announced today that their first two open textbooks published under the OpenStax College moniker will save students over $1 million this fall alone.

The two titles, College Physics and Introduction to Sociology are achieving adoption rates that far outpace previous OER efforts, a reaction attributed to the high-quality and free nature of the books. In the coming months 20MM is committed to scaling adoption and passing on the savings to thousands of additional college students nationwide.

With massive outreach efforts to community college professors across California, 20MM ventures to double current adoptions by the spring semester. With more than 55 adoptions and over 5,000 students using the books this fall in traditional adoptions alone, the 20 Million Minds Foundation is looking forward to reaching more than 10,000 by the Spring 2013 term. To date, the free books have proven viable competitors to top publisher titles which typically cost about $150 for introductory physics courses and about $90 for introductory sociology classes.

In the coming weeks, 20MM will announce new partnerships that will help enlist and scale faculty adoptions across post-secondary institutions to pass on much-needed savings to students grappling with the ever-increasing costs of higher education.

"We are extremely encouraged by the speedy embracement of these two high quality open books by faculty and the immediate impact the savings will have on students and their families already drowning in debt from college loans," said Dean Florez, former California State Senator and President 20MM. "These books are the first step in providing faculty with a free alternative option without compromising quality. With student loan debt surpassing the $1 trillion mark, it has become increasingly urgent to provide immediate relief to students, and that's exactly what we're doing with these outstanding textbooks."     

"The response has been phenomenal with College Physics averaging more than 1,000 views a day with and Introduction to Sociology with more than 10,000 learners," said OpenStax College Editor-in-Chief David Harris.

College Physics is filled with real-world examples, illustrations and explanations to assist students in comprehending fundamental concepts. With an editorial board that includes Nobel Prize winners and professors at renowned institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Introduction to Sociology boosts not only relevant theory and research concepts, but includes the latest current events. Both books can be accessed through 20mm.org.

Other open textbook titles to be completed in early 2013 include Biology, Concepts of Biology, and Anatomy and Physiology, with sample chapters available online later this year under OpenStax College title which is supported by 20MM, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Maxfield Foundation, and Rice University.

20 Million Minds is a non-profit organization dedicated to greatly reducing textbook costs. The foundation is currently leveraging leading-edge technologies to create more affordable, engaging and effective educational materials for college students throughout the nation.

OpenStax College is an initiative of Rice University and a non-profit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. The organization's free textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate, and meet the scope and sequence requirements of each course.

CONTACT: Beryl Chong, Communications Director
20 Million Minds Foundation 916.442.9300

SOURCE 20 Million Minds Foundation