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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Cost of Textbooks :

Policy/Guideline Area

Academic Policies

Applicable Divisions

TCATs, Community Colleges


T.C.A. § 49-7-141 specifies that the Tennessee Board of Regents develop policies for minimizing the cost of textbooks and ancillary course materials at its higher education institutions, while maintaining quality of education and academic freedom.


  1. Policy Development Provisions for All Institutions
    1. Each institution governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents shall develop policies for minimizing the cost of textbooks and ancillary course materials.
    2. The Tennessee Board of Regents hereby establishes certain minimum requirements each institution shall follow in developing institutional policies consistent with the provisions of this policy.
    3. Institutional policies shall require that:
      1. Faculty members submit lists of required textbooks and course materials to any on-campus bookstore in a timely manner so that the bookstore can ensure that textbooks and other course materials are available when courses begin.
      2. Students have access to information regarding required and supplementary course materials through viable channels, including the institution's website, before courses begin. This information must include, but is not limited to, the International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
      3. Any on-campus bookstore disclose to faculty members on a per course basis the costs to students of purchasing the required textbooks and course materials and that faculty members affirmatively acknowledge the price of the textbooks and materials before an order is completed.
      4. Faculty members consider practices that reduce the cost of course materials, such as adopting the least expensive option from the available products that meet the requirements of the course. Bundled materials should only be considered if they deliver cost savings to the students. (Note: "bundled" means a group of objects joined together by packaging or required to be purchased as an indivisible unit).
      5. Any on-campus bookstore selling textbooks to students as part of a bundled package also provide students the option of purchasing the textbooks and other study products separately from each other, if possible.
      6. Any on-campus bookstore actively promotes and publicizes book buy-back programs.
      7. Copies of textbooks are made available for student use at no cost through the academic department or through the institution's library; provided, that such textbooks have been furnished at no charge by the publisher for this purpose.
      8. All textbook inventory and monitoring by any on-campus bookstore as set forth through these policies shall be accomplished by existing bookstore staff.
  2. Institutional Policy Approval
    1. In developing policies for minimizing the cost of textbooks and ancillary course materials, an institution shall follow its established policy development and approval process.
    2. The institution policy, complete with processes, cost minimization strategies, and monitoring procedures, must be forwarded to the Tennessee Board of Regents Office of Academic Affairs for review and approval.



T.C.A. § 49-8-203


Tennessee Board of Regents meeting, September 27, 2007