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UC Davis Stores is Launching Equitable Access in Fall 2020

It’s a revolutionary program that will provide every UC Davis undergraduate student access to their course materials by the first day of class, all for $199 per quarter. Look for more details coming later this spring!

Designed To Solve For


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


High textbook prices force many students to forgo purchasing course materials, negatively affecting academic outcomes.


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


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


Finding digital and traditional course materials 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


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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can students opt out of Equitable Access?
Yes. Students can choose to opt out each quarter. However, students who choose to opt out will need to purchase their textbooks elsewhere at current retail or resale prices. UC Davis Stores will not be selling undergraduate textbooks outside of the Equitable Access program.
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?
No. Faculty retains full academic freedom under Equitable Access and the textbook adoption process remains the same.
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 do students benefit from paying the same textbook fee, 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 fees. By modeling the textbook fee 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.

Media Coverage

All Access
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.
Can a Health-Insurance Model Bring ‘Equitable Access’ to the Textbook Market?
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.
Initiatives underway for low-cost, free textbooks for California college students
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 Experiments with a New Textbook Model: An Interview with Jason Lorgan
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.
UC Davis’s Plan to Disrupt Textbook Publishing
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.
Enrollment Growth University: Higher Education. Flat-Fee Textbook Model at University of California, Davis
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.
Flat-Fee Textbook Model at University of California, Davis w. Jason Lorgan
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.
Flat-Fee Textbook Model at University of California, Davis
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.
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