Textbook Affordability Guidelines


The cost of college textbooks and instructional materials has been repeatedly cited as a barrier to student completion of a college credential. The College Board calculates that in 2015-16, the average cost of textbooks and supplies for students at public two-year college was approximately $1,364 per year. The state of Florida has enacted legislation and rules to address the rising cost of instructional materials. For example, section 1004.085, Florida Statutes, as well as Rule 6A-14.092 of the Florida Administrative Code, both outline specific areas of compliance for institutions within the Florida College System.

Textbook Adoption Deadlines: To comply with the mandated deadlines for textbook adoption, all instructional materials are required to be adopted and published at least 45 days prior to the first day of class in each term. Deadlines for upcoming semesters are:

Semester Orders due to Bookstore 75-Day Deadline for Submitting Approved Adoptions First day of class
Spring 2024 October 15 October 25, 2023 January 8, 2024
Summer 2024 March 15 February 28, 2024 May 13, 2024
Fall 2024 April 15 June 5, 2024 August 19, 2024

The college collaborates with our local Barnes and Noble bookstore to ensure that all required identifying information (title, author(s), publisher, edition, date, ISBN, and other relevant information) for all required and recommended instructional materials are published online, and also within the course registration system. By submitting adoptions by the required bookstore deadline, departments will automatically satisfy the 45-day requirement. (In cases where sections are added to meet enrollment demand after the bookstore or 45-day deadline, text adoptions should be the same as in one or more existing sections, and orders must be submitted to the bookstore within three business days of the late section being opened.)

Selection Guidelines

To comply with state mandates, the following procedure is adopted for selection of all instructional materials at Santa Fe College.

  1. The responsibility for selecting appropriate textbooks and instructional materials to support the delivery of course and program curriculum lies with the faculty. This right and responsibility of the faculty to choose appropriate materials also carries the accountability for considering affordability. In most cases, textbook selection will be made by a committee of full-time faculty, with input solicited from other stakeholders as appropriate. Materials should be selected through a cost-benefit analyses that enable students to obtain the highest-quality product at the lowest available price. Departments must ensure that proposed new editions have undergone a review process to determine whether the content revisions to the current version of a textbook or instructional material warrant the adoption of the new edition. Departments may request the publisher provide descriptions of content revisions.

    Criteria for selection will include:
    1. Quality, accuracy, depth, and breadth of content;
    2. Cost to students;
    3. Reliability of publisher and past experience with publisher's products;
    4. Quality and cost of any student support materials, instructor support materials;
    5. The availability from the publisher of accessible versions of hard-copy textbooks;
    6. The accessibility of website content and other electronic media. Videos should be captioned, and other materials should be accessible to assistive technology;
    7. The ability of the publisher to provide a voluntary product accessibility template (VPAT).
  1. In order to provide appropriate consistency across multiple sections of the same course, all sections of a given course will adopt the same textbook. In cases where there is appropriate disciplinary variation in methodology, canon, or topics, departments will identify a choice of no more than three textbooks for all instructional staff to use. Supplemental materials may vary by section but are not to be assigned in place of one of the common texts selected by the department. (Exceptions to this standard may be made for approved pilot projects, Honors classes, grant-related activities, or other such innovations.)
  2. Departments are especially asked to consider the adoption of free or low-cost open educational resource materials available through OpenStax, Creative Commons, or similar resources.
  3. All instructional materials adopted by faculty must be approved by the appropriate department chair or director.
  4. Texts adopted by a department should be maintained for a minimum of three years unless reconsideration is required by significant changes in curriculum, changes in availability of the adopted materials, or adoption of a less costly alternative.
  5. In considering the adoption of any instructional material, faculty must attest that
    1. that cost was taken into account as an important factor within the adoption decision;
    2. that all textbooks and other instructional items ordered will be used, particularly each item sold as part of a bundled package;
    3. the extent to which a new edition differs significantly from earlier editions was considered (notwithstanding the question of whether earlier editions are available).


To comply with mandated state audit requirements, departments will collect and maintain Textbook Affordability Affidavit Forms (in the Canvas LMS or otherwise) for all required and recommended textbook adoptions for all sections of all courses. This documentation will include the date that the adopted materials were formally approved and submitted to the bookstore in advance of the 45-day deadline, as well as documentation of compliance with each requirement of Rule 6A-14.092.


In compliance with 1004.085 (4), courses that show a wide variance in cost among sections or that have frequent changes in textbook and instructional materials shall be identified, and a list of such courses will be sent to the appropriate department chair for review and action.