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Equitable Access Banner

Every class. Every textbook. One revolutionary price.

Equitable Access is a revolutionary program that provides every UC Davis undergraduate student access to their textbooks by the first day of class, all for $169 per quarter.

How It Works

Equitable Access fees are reassessed each year. This video reflects the first year program price of $199 per quarter. The price for 2021-22 is $169 per quarter.

Designed To Solve For

INEQUITY

The cost of textbooks varies widely by major, creating significant inequity among students.

COST

High prices force many students to forgo purchasing textbooks, negatively affecting academic outcomes.

ACCESS

Students arrive on campus with nearly everything they need - except their textbooks.

FINANCIAL AID

Financial aid for textbooks is based on a campuswide average; many students are left to cover significant remaining costs.

CONFUSION

Finding digital and traditional textbooks from multiple sources creates confusion and takes up valuable time at the start of each quarter.

What UC Davis Students Are Saying

Headshot of Gracey
“Equitable Access takes a huge weight off my shoulders. I won't have to pick and choose which textbooks I can afford — I’ll have instant access to all of my textbooks for one low, fixed price. I feel lucky to attend a university that is fighting for education equity and striving to simply do better.”

Gracey H

Global Disease Biology

Headshot of Alexandra
“As a first-generation and low-income student, I would appreciate access to the same educational resources as every other student. Equitable Access will give students in every academic major and from every socioeconomic background the same opportunities to achieve their fullest academic potential.”

Alexandra O

Political Science

Headshot of Tanner
“By reducing and equalizing the cost of textbooks, Equitable Access will allow students to pursue whatever major they want. Financial barriers don’t need to keep students from pursuing their dreams.”

Tanner G

Psychology/Sociology

Equitable Access is designed to reduce inequity among students by eliminating course material access issues, while ensuring that costs are predictable and equal for all undergraduate students.

Student FAQ

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View the Faculty FAQ

How to I access my digital textbooks if I am participating in Equitable Access?
To access your digital content/textbooks for any given course, simply log in to the course page in your UC Davis Canvas account, and open your Bookshelf from the navigation menu. Depending on the textbook or content type, you may find additional access information on the Attachments tab for each item displayed.
Will all textbooks be digital under Equitable Access?
Digital textbooks are the default option. Traditional textbooks will only be supplied when a digital option is not available. Lab manuals and other course materials that are traditionally printed will remain the same.
How can I find out if my textbooks are digital or print format?
All of your digital and print textbooks are displayed in your Student Portal or Bookshelf. To request a link to your Student Portal, enter your student ID and a link to your Student Portal will be emailed to your UC Davis email address.

In your Student Portal and Bookshelf, required textbooks will be displayed with icons indicating if the textbook is digital (computer screen icon), or print (open book with a bookmark) as illustrated below.
How can I receive my required print textbooks that are not available in digital format?
Required print textbooks may be picked up by students participating in the Equitable Access Program at the Campus Bookstore or shipped if you are unable to pick up your books in person. If you are in or near Davis and able to do so safely, we highly recommend that you pick up your books from the Campus Bookstore location beginning the week prior to the first day of class (please check store hours). Because shipping companies are currently experiencing delayed delivery times due to COVID-19, we recommend in-person pick-up if possible.
Will Equitable Access allow me to retain access to my course materials after a course ends?

Yes, for certain materials. Many of the digital textbooks in Bookshelf may be downloaded to a device and read after the term is over by using the Bookshelf app. Digital textbooks that are a part of a homework manager or courseware are only usable for the quarter during which they were originally provided; unless otherwise noted, access to these materials expires once the term is over.

You may also keep any physical textbooks you receive under Equitable Access so long as you stay enrolled in the program and the course. If you opt out of Equitable Access or drop the course, you’ll need to return the books.

Can I opt out of Equitable Access?
Yes. You can choose to opt out each quarter. However, if you choose to opt out you will need to purchase your textbooks at current retail or resale prices either by special ordering from the Bookstore or from an outlet of your choice.
How do I opt out of Equitable Access?
  1. You can opt yourself out of Equitable Access by visiting the Equitable Access Program page or by using the link on the left side of the screen in the “Announcements” section on your MyBill student accounting page.
  2. View your course materials and if you wish to opt out click the button on the top right side of the screen.
  3. Confirm your selection.
  4. Once you have opted out you will receive a confirmation email from [email protected] stating your opt out has been received and your refund will be processed.
Are there any other options available to opt out?
If you have any trouble opting out, please send an email to [email protected] with your student ID in the body of the email and the words "opt out" in the subject line, and we will be happy to take care of it for you.
What is the deadline to opt out of Equitable Access?
You may opt out up until the 20th day of instruction.
What can I expect after I opt out?

From the time you get your quarterly bill until the day it's due, you can opt yourself out of Equitable Access using the link on the left side of the screen in the “Announcements” section on your MyBill student accounting page. Doing so by this deadline will add a credit to your student account before it is due.

If you miss this date (the day your bill is due), you can still opt yourself out of Equitable Access using the link on the left side of the screen in the “Announcements” section on your MyBill student accounting page up until the Sunday before classes start. In this instance, you are required to pay the Equitable Access fee but will receive a $169 credit in your student account (called BKST Equitable Access Wavier) within two to five business days. As per Student Accounting’s policy, any credit on your account will be dispersed at the end of the month.

If you would like to opt out of Equitable Access after classes begin, you can still do so until the 20th day of instruction. You will need to email [email protected] and request to opt out. If you’re on campus, you can go to the main campus bookstore and request to opt out at the guest services counter or the text floor help desk. In this instance, you are required to pay the Equitable Access fee but will receive a $169 credit in your student account (called BKST Equitable Access Wavier) within two to five business days. As per Student Accounting’s policy, any credit on your account will be dispersed at the end of the month.

How do I purchase my digital textbooks if I choose to opt out of Equitable Access?
You can easily purchase individual digital textbooks and other digital course content within your Canvas Bookshelf. For courseware (depending on the platform) you may purchase an access code within Bookshelf or directly through the publisher.
How do I purchase my print textbooks if I choose to opt out of Equitable Access?
UC Davis Stores will not be selling in-stock undergraduate print textbooks to those who have opted out of the Equitable Access program; those books have been purchased at lower prices based on the subscription model per our contract with the publishers. However, you can special order print textbooks from the special order desk in the lower level of the Campus Bookstore at current retail prices.
What about lab manuals and readers?
Custom faculty-created lab manuals and readers from Reprographics will still be sold at the Bookstore; these are included in Equitable Access and may also be purchased individually by those who have opted out of the program.
If I opt out but change my mind, can I re-enroll in Equitable Access?

Yes. Prior to the Sunday before class starts, you can opt back into Equitable Access using the link provided in the email you received when you opted out. Once you are in your student textbook portal, simply click the button to opt back in. Your student MyBill account will be charged $169

If you’d like to opt back in after that date, you can either email [email protected] and request to opt back in or visit the main campus store and opt back in at the guest services desk or text floor help desk. Your student MyBill account will be charged $169.

How do I get help if I have a question about Canvas or accessing an e-book in Bookshelf?
Students that need assistance with their Canvas or Bookshelf account may contact Vitalsource 24/7 via live chat or email.
Are graduate students part of the Equitable Access pilot program?
The first year of the Equitable Access pilot program will only include undergraduate students. Our goal is to be able to include graduate students in the future.
Will Equitable Access affect textbook selection?
Faculty will always have full academic freedom under Equitable Access and the textbook adoption process will remain the same.
What do I do if I need an academic accommodation due to a disability?
We have worked closely with the Student Disability Center (SDC) during the development of Equitable Access. If you have questions about accessibility and using digital content or need an academic accommodation please contact the SDC for assistance.
How do students benefit from paying the same textbook cost, regardless of major?
All UC Davis students pay the same rate for tuition, fees, and health insurance, regardless of major, but financial inequity has remained when it comes to textbooks and other course materials costs. By modeling the textbook charge after other costs of attendance, Equitable Access will reduce this financial inequity so that every student has access to the same academic opportunities, regardless of the field in which they choose to study.
Am I required to return my printed textbooks?
If you choose to remain opted in to Equitable Access, required printed textbooks are included and are yours to keep. If you opt out of Equitable Access or if you drop any course for which you receive printed textbooks, you are required to return those books. If not returned or shipped back to the Campus Store by the 25th day of each quarter, the replacement cost for outstanding textbooks will be billed to your student account.

Media Coverage

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UC Davis: Building an Equitable Textbook Subscription Service With VitalSource and Canvas
December 16, 2020
Notice how almost all of your household media services are subscription-based? And no matter how many movies you watch or songs you listen to, the monthly fee is the same? Jason Lorgan, Executive Director of Student Affairs at UC Davis, and Ryan Petersen, Vice President of General Management at VitalSource, thought the same kind of service should be offered at colleges and universities to simplify textbook purchases and provide equitable access to course content.
The Evolution of Inclusive Access
May 8, 2020
An employee’s experience as a student helps illustrate why the UC Davis Stores decided to put two years of effort into developing an expanded version of inclusive access called “equitable access.”
All Access
January 8, 2020
Textbooks and supplies for one year at UC Davis cost about $1,136. A new program seeks to revolutionize how students get and pay for course materials — and it could halve that annual price tag.
Flat-Fee Textbook Model at University of California, Davis
September 12, 2019
Publishing sales reps work with faculty members to try to convince them that their textbook is the best one. From there, faculty decide what books to require, but the students are the ones who actually open their wallets to pay for them.
Flat-Fee Textbook Model at University of California, Davis w. Jason Lorgan
September 11, 2019
Jason Lorgan, Executive Director of Campus Recreation, Memorial Union and UC Davis Stores at University of California, Davis joined the podcast to talk about the “principal-agent” problem and how they’re attempting to solve for it at UC Davis with a flat-fee textbook model.
Enrollment Growth University: Higher Education. Flat-Fee Textbook Model at University of California, Davis
September 9, 2019
Jason Lorgan, Executive Director of Campus Recreation, Memorial Union and UC Davis Stores at University of California, Davis, joined the podcast to talk about the “principal-agent” problem and how they’re attempting to solve for it at UC Davis with a flat-fee textbook model.
UC Davis Experiments with a New Textbook Model: An Interview with Jason Lorgan
September 4, 2019
A few months ago, the University of California, Davis made the news when it was announced that the campus will soon be trying out a relatively new model of textbook and course-material provision.
Initiatives underway for low-cost, free textbooks for California college students
August 28, 2019
As they start a new school year, college students usually come to campus knowing their tuition and room and board costs. The big unknown is the often-hefty cost of textbooks.
UC Davis’s Plan to Disrupt Textbook Publishing
August 5, 2019
We are entering a period of real disruption in the textbook publishing industry, as the major textbook publishers are finding out that their strategy of continuously raising prices isn’t working anymore.
Can a Health-Insurance Model Bring ‘Equitable Access’ to the Textbook Market?
June 18, 2019
A health-insurance model aims to bring ‘equitable access’ to textbooks. Textbook news is everywhere these days. Last month Cengage and McGraw-Hill said they would merge and Wiley bought Knewton. And last week the State University of New York announced a major expansion of its relationship with Lumen Learning, a company that promotes the use of open educational resources.

Survey Results

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Annual Report

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Awards

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Equitable Access Wins Gold!
June 16, 2021
The annual Learning Impact Awards competition is open to all educational institutions, school districts, states, edtech suppliers, and workplace training organizations worldwide. Organizations from Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam advanced to this final round of the 2021 competition. UC Davis Stores is proud to be the 2021 Gold Award winner for its Equitable Access textbook program. Read more about the IMS Learning Impact Award in the press release from VitalSource.
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