Zero Textbook Cost

student in library with laptop


A Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) course is a course that requires no textbook cost for students. HCC is partnering with the Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC) on a statewide initiative to identify ZTC courses. For more information, see the Florida’s Zero Textbook Cost Course Indicator Overview.

HCC Zero Textbook Cost courses can be found when you search for classes by using the filter, “Textbooks: Zero Textbook Cost.” Once you are in a ZTC course, you will see a box next to the course title. The box contains the words “Zero Textbook Cost.” If you hover over this box, “This course has a zero cost textbook” is displayed.


HCC Zero Textbook Cost Degree
(Z-Degree) AA Pathway

HCC is working to create an AA Pathway Zero Textbook Cost Degree (Z-Degree). Our mission is focused on transforming lives by providing open access to an exceptional teaching and learning environment that inspires students to contribute to the local community and global society. Providing an option for students to not incur textbook costs strongly supports open access and gives students the opportunity to start their courses with the tools needed to be successful.

HCC Zero Textbook Cost Savings

Since its launch in 2022, HCC's Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) initiative has saved students approximately $5,756,597. Furthermore, courses under the ZTC program have shown a 5% reduction in the rates of D, F, or W grades compared to traditional courses. Currently, over 20% of course sections at HCC are designated as ZTC. 

HCC is a state leader in the number of ZTC sections uploaded to the FLVC Florida Shines website. We are also the first in the state to implement a student facing ZTC filter. 

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

HCC is proud to be a Hispanic Serving Institution highly attuned to the needs of our diverse body of students. The Student Testimonials The Impact Of Textbook Costs On Our Lives video follows the national narrative, that students are taking fewer classes and having to choose between purchasing essentials and their educational materials. Students state that, “benefits are straight forward, it gives everyone an equal chance at succeeding in the course. Since you don't have to worry about how you are going to pay for the required materials.”

Open Educational Resources (OER) can be used as a tool for social justice. In our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Open Educational Resources Panel, projects were discussed that highlight the many ways OER can help achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals.

Providing each student with high quality affordable access to education is our goal. Eighty-seven percent of student respondents surveyed indicated that zero-cost resources in their class were of the same quality as a traditional textbook. The students surveyed also stated that the instructor was more engaged, and the info was more up to date - because the instructor was so connected with the text.  They said that they appreciate the professor more and the content aligns better with in class material and is a lot more comprehensive. Finally, they stated that “because of this class I feel the professor has a better relationship with students by making sure everything is up to date, and by the professor having full control of our learning it is easier to understand.”

Our ZTC Standard Course projects have a benchmark of 100% accessibility. Our inclusive approach ensures that all students have equitable access to their materials, so they can learn without barriers. 

Gone are the days that HCC dual enrollment students must wait for their books. The majority of ZTC courses provide first day and forever access to educational materials. Faculty can increase their teaching time, since students are prepared with the materials they need to learn on the first day.

HCC Open Access Book Publishing

HCC is the first institution in the state to have a self-hosted Pressbooks network. HCC Pressbooks, along with our OER Creation Program, enables faculty to create open textbooks. Faculty can 'clone' any of the nearly 5,000 textbooks available with an open license on the Pressbooks directory. Faculty can adapt open content or create an OER from scratch. This helps provide faculty with complete control of the content in their courses.