What is the Higher Education Opportunity Act?
The Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 110-315) (HEOA) was enacted on Aug. 14, 2008, and reauthorizes the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (the HEA). The HEOA makes a number of changes to programs authorized under the HEA, authorizes new programs, and makes changes to other laws. It also imposes new reporting and disclosure obligations on institutions that participate in Title IV federal student financial aid programs. The U.S. Department of Education has published a “Dear Colleague Letter,” which provides a summary of each provision of the HEOA. A copy of the Dear Colleague Letter is available online.
What are the requirements regarding textbooks stipulated in the HEOA, Section 133 (20 U.S.C. 1015)?
As of July 1, 2010, institutions that receive Title IV funds must, “to the maximum extent practicable,” disclose on their internet course schedule the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and retail price information of required and recommended textbooks and supplemental materials for each course listed on the institution’s course schedule. If the ISBN number is not available, the institution must include the author, title, publisher, and copyright date instead. Finally, if the institution determines it is not practical to disclose either the ISBN number or the alternative information, it must place “To Be Determined” on its internet course schedule.
Institutions also must, as soon as practical and at the bookstore’s request, provide their bookstore the institution’s course schedule for the subsequent academic period, the number of students enrolled in each course, the maximum student enrollment in each course, and the ISBN numbers and retail price information of all required or recommended textbooks and supplemental materials.
Institutions must also disclose on any written course schedules that textbook information is available on their internet course schedules and provide the web address.
Institutions are encouraged to provide students information on institutional programs for renting textbooks or buying used textbooks, institutional guaranteed textbook buy-back programs, institutional alternative content delivery programs, and other cost-saving strategies.
What is the rationale for the law?
Congress was responding to concerns expressed by student groups and others to the high cost of textbooks. The purpose of this legislation is to ensure that students have timely access to affordable course materials at postsecondary institutions receiving federal financial assistance.
Why am I required to provide my textbook information so early?
The HEOA requires that the information regarding textbooks and supplemental materials be provided to students at the time of registration. Registration at the university begins in November for the following winter semester and March for summer and fall semesters. Faculty must submit their orders before registration begins so that the information can be posted online.
What if an instructor has not been assigned to the class by the date that book orders are due for the upcoming semester?
If an instructor has not been identified for a course by the date that book information is due for the upcoming semester, the department may list “To Be Determined” in place of the required information on its website. The textbook information must then be entered into the Barnes & Noble College Adoptions & Insights portal as quickly as possible after the assignment is made. In those departments where several sections of a course use a common textbook, departments are encouraged to submit this information in anticipation of course usage.
What if an instructor is still finalizing the textbooks for the upcoming semester?
If an instructor is still determining the book information at the time that the information is due for the upcoming semester, the instructor may list “To Be Determined” in place of the required information on its website. The textbook information must then be submitted to the Barnes & Noble College Adoptions & Insights portal as quickly as possible after the appointment is made. The department can also use the class notes section in Wolverine Access to indicate approximate cost of the books and other materials.
Where can I find instructions for entering textbooks into the Barnes & Noble College Adoptions & Insights portal?
For additional background on U-M’s agreement with Barnes and Noble College and instructions for using the Adoptions & Insights portal, visit Help: Textbooks and Course Materials Adoption.