Textbook Automatic Billing Concerns

Resolution Number
Assigned to
Curriculum Committee
Local Senates
Assigned to: 1st Resolved: President
2nd Resolved: Curriculum Committee

Whereas, Automatic billing or inclusive access strategies have been introduced by publishers and bookstore vendors as a mechanism to grant students access to course resources by billing them for those resources at the time of registration and requiring that a student opt out of the program for all courses if the student determines the program is not beneficial;

Whereas, Inclusive access strategies may be cost-effective in educational settings where students are primarily full-time and efforts to contain textbook costs have been without impact, but such an approach to establishing a zero textbook cost pathway would be inherently unsustainable and inconsistent with the California Education Code §78052 [1] funding the Zero-Textbook-Cost Degree Grant Program;

Whereas, When the implementation of inclusive access requires students to pay a per unit fee for their resources, these costs may exceed the actual costs of the required resources, misleading students to believe they are saving money or putting the burden on the students to opt out if the arrangement is not financially beneficial; and

Whereas, Inclusive access has come under scrutiny for the challenges it creates for students, such as opt out mechanisms that are unclear or have unrealistic deadlines, implementations where access is temporary, and affordability for some students, as well as approaches that limit faculty academic freedom to choose the best resources for their students;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges oppose the use of inclusive access strategies and other approaches that maintain reliance upon commercial publishers, as such mechanisms are not consistent with the intent and requirements of the Zero-Textbook-Cost Degree Grant Program of California Education Code §78052 [2]; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges urge local academic senates to critically evaluate proposals to employ inclusive access as a means to decrease student costs, with an emphasis on ensuring that savings are being realized and that options for opting out are clear and explicit.


[1]California Education Code §78052: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=EDC&sectionNum=78052.
[2] California Education Code §78052: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=EDC&sectionNum=78052.