The Federal Higher Education Opportunity
Act of 2008
The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) includes a textbook provision that went into effect July 1, 2010 calling for textbook information to be available as part of the class schedule when students register (rather than only being available on the course syllabus). The primary objective of HEOA is to increase transparency in textbook pricing, to provide more time to comparison shop for classroom resources, and to contribute to lower-priced textbooks for our students. In order to meet HEOA textbook requirements, specific information about class materials must be provided to UA BookStores in a timely fashion.
Please note that no matter where students buy their textbooks, both the Federal Government and the Arizona Board of Regents have mandated that information about classroom materials that students are required to have in class be submitted to the campus bookstore (UA BookStores) for dissemination to the student population.
The UA BookStores Faculty Relations team is available to assist UA faculty and staff members submit textbook adoptions in a fashion consistent with federal requirements.
UA BookStores Faculty Relations Team
Purpose & Intent
Text is self explanatory–This bill affects every college in the USA that
receives any federal funds (almost everyone).
Carefully read about “Bundle” and “Integrated Book”
- Must be sure faculty & other adopters on campus are aware of net price, copyright date history, and alternate formats and net prices of those alternates, if any.
- Bundles must be available in parts, each separately priced, except for integrated textbooks (read the defi nition of bundles).
- Schedules posted on the internet must have textbook information.
- Printed schedules must explain how students may look it up on the internet.
To the maximum extent practicable:
- ISBN and Retail Price must be listed on the college’s internet course schedule or linked from the schedule to another appropriate web site such as the bookstore.
- If ISBN is not known the author, title, and copyright date must be posted.
- If the college determines this information is not available or
posting this information is not practical, then the college must post
“to be determined” for any such affected course.
Information for college bookstores
Colleges must supply certain information to the bookstores which it owns or operates itself or under a management contract (lease.)
All colleges must supply this information to their bookstore(s):
- The course schedule for the next term.
- The adoption information.
- The number of students enrolled.
- The maximum student enrollment for such course or class
An institution disclosing the information required by subsection (d)(1) is encouraged to disseminate to students
If a college has these programs they are encouraged to publicize information about them.
- Available programs for renting textbooks or for purchasing used
- Available guaranteed textbook buy-back programs;
- Any available institutional alternative content delivery programs; or
- Other available cost-saving strategies.
Rule of Construction
Institutional Autonomy and Faculty Academic Freedom to choose books remains unimpeded by this law.
No regulatory authority
The education Department may NOT promulgate any regulations regarding this law as it applies to textbooks. What is written is to be interpreted just as it is written.
July 1, 2010 (the effective date applies to this section only).
SEC. 112 TEXTBOOK INFORMATION.
(Creates a new section #133, in the HEA)
- (a) 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.
- (b) DEFINITIONS—In this section:
- (1) BUNDLE—The term ‘bundle’ means one or more college textbooks or other supplemental
materials that ma be packaged together to be sold as course materials for one price.
- (2) COLLEGE TEXTBOOK—The term ‘college textbook’ means a textbook or a set of textbooks, used
for, or in conjunction with, a course in postsecondary education at an institution of higher education.
- (3) COURSE SCHEDULE—The term ‘course schedule’ means a listing of the courses or classes
offered by an institution of higher education for an academic period, as defi ned by the institution.
- “(4) CUSTOM TEXTBOOK—The term ‘custom textbook’—
- (A) means a college textbook that is complied by a publisher at the direction of faculty member
or other person adopting entity in charge of selecting course materials at an institution of higher
- (B) may include, alone or in combination, items such as selections from original instructor
materials previously copyrighted publisher materials, copyrighted third-party works, and elements
unique to a specifi c institution, such as commemorative editions.
- (5) INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION—The term ‘institution of higher education’ has the
meaning given the term in section 102.
- (6) INTEGRATED TEXTBOOK—The term ‘integrated textbook’ means a college textbooks that is—
- (A) combined with materials developed by a third-party and that, by third-party contractual
agreement, may not be offered by publishers separately from the college textbook with which the
materials are combined; or
- (B) combined with other materials that are so interrelated with the content of the college textbook
that the separation of the college textbook from the other materials would render the college
textbook unusable for its intended purpose.
- (7) PUBLISHER—The term ‘publisher’ means a publisher of college textbooks or supplemental
materials involved in or affecting interstate commerce.
- (8) SUBSTANTIAL CONTENT—The term ‘substantial content’ means parts of a college textbook such
as new chapters, new material covering additional ears of time, new themes, or new subject matter.
- (9) SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL—The term ‘supplemental material’ means educations material
developed to accompany a college textbook that—
- (A) may include printed materials, computer disks,, website access, and electronically distributed
- (B) is not being used as a component of an integrated textbook.
- (c) PUBLISHER REQUIREMENTS—
- (1) COLLEGE TEXTBOOK PRICING INFORMATION—When a publisher provides a faculty member or other person or adopting entity in charge of selecting course materials at an institution of higher education receiving Federal fi nancial assistance with information regarding a college textbook or supplemental
material, the publisher shall include, with any such information and in writing (which may include
electronic communications), the following:
- (A) The price at which the publisher would make the college textbook or supplemental material
available to the bookstore on the campus of, or otherwise associated with, such institution of
higher education and, if available, the price at which the publisher makes the college textbooks or
supplemental material available to the public.
- (B) The copyright dates of the three previous edition of such college textbook, if any.
- (C) A description of the substantial content revisions made between the current edition of the college textbook or supplemental material and the previous edition, if any.
- (D)(i) Whether the college textbook or supplemental material is available in any other format including paperback and unbound; and
- (ii) for each other format of the college textbook or supplemental material, the price at which the
publisher would make the college textbook or supplemental material in the other format available to
the bookstore on the campus of, or otherwise associated with, such institution of higher education
and, if available, the price at which the publisher makes such other format of the college textbook or
sup plum en al material available to the public.
- (2) UNBUNDLING OF COLLEGE TEXTBOOKS FROM SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS—A publisher that
sells a college textbook and any supplemental material accompanying such college textbook as a single
bundle shall also make available the college textbook and each supplemental material as separate and
unbundled items, each separately priced.
- (3) CUSTOM TEXTBOOKS. To the maximum extent practicable, a publisher shall provide the information
required under this subsection with respect to the development and provision of custom textbooks.
- (d) PROVISION OF ISBN COLLEGE TEXTBOOK INFORMATION IN COURSE SCHEDULES—To the maximum extent practicable, each institution of higher education receiving Federal fi nancial
- (1) disclose, on the institution’s Internet course schedule and in a manner of the institution’s choosing,
the International Standard Book Number and retail price information of required and recommended
college textbooks and supplemental materials for each course listed in the institution’s course schedule
used for preregistration and registration purposes, except that—
- (A) if the International Standard Book Number is not available for such college textbook or
supplemental material, then the institution shall include in the Internet course schedule the author, title,
publisher, and copyright date for such college textbook or supplemental material; and
- (B) if the institution determines that the disclosure of the information described in this subsection is not practicable for a college textbook or supplemental material, then the institution shall so indicate by
placing the designation ‘To Be Determined’ in lieu of the information required under this subsection;
- (2) if applicable, include on the institution’s written course schedule a notice that textbook information is available on the institution’s Internet course schedule, and the Internet address for such schedule.
- (e) AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION FOR COLLEGE BOOKSTORES—An institution of higher education receiving Federal financial assistance shall make available to a college bookstore that is operated by, or in a contractual relationship or otherwise affiliated with, the institution, as soon as is practicable upon the request of such college bookstore, the most accurate information available regarding—
- (1) the institution’s course schedule for the subsequent academic period; and
- (2) for each course or class offered by the institution for the subsequent academic period—
- (A) the information required by subsection (d)(1) for each college textbook or supplemental
material required or recommended for such course or class;
- (B) the number of students enrolled in such course or class; and
- (C) the maximum student enrollment for such course or class.
- (f) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION—An institution disclosing the information required by subsection (d)(1) is encouraged to disseminate to students information regarding—
- (1) available institutional programs for renting textbooks or for purchasing used textbooks;
- (2) available institutional guaranteed textbook buy-back programs;
- (3) available institutional alternative content delivery programs; or
- (4) other available institutional cost-saving strategies.
- (g) GAO REPORT—Not later than July 1, 2013, the Comptroller General of the United States shall report to the authorizing committees on the implementation of this section by institutions of higher education, college bookstores, and publishers. The report shall particularly examine—
- (1) the availability of college textbook information on course schedules;
- (2) the provision of pricing information to faculty of institutions of higher education by publishers;
- (3) the use of bundled and unbundled material in the college textbook marketplace, including the
adoption of unbundled materials by faculty and the use of integrated textbooks by publishers; and
- (4) the implementation of this section by institutions of higher education, including the costs and
benefi ts to such institutions and to students.
- (h) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION—Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede the
institutional autonomy or academic freedom of instructors involved in the selection of college textbooks,
supplemental materials, and other classroom materials.
- (i) NO REGULATORY AUTHORITY—The Secretary shall not promulgate regulations with respect to this
- (b) EFFECTIVE DATE—The amendment made by subsection (a) shall take effect on July 1, 2010.