Information for Students
Marking affordable courses, those that use no cost — $0 and low cost course materials — less than $45, is an effort supported by KU Student Senate and campus partners to help students navigate a complex course materials landscape.
Beginning in Fall 2020, two tools that students use to identify potential courses of interest, Enroll & Pay and classes.ku.edu, include information to help students budget for textbooks and related materials — coursepacks, homework systems, etc.
How Courses are Marked
Those courses identified as affordable will be thus marked in two places: classes.ku.edu and Enroll & Pay.
The Enroll & Pay markers are textual: “No Cost” and “Low Cost”.
The classes.ku.edu markers are visual, using two simple icons designed by KU IT, which appear in the Credit Hours column.
The No Cost icon is a blue book marked with a white zero “0”. A course marked with the No Cost icon has zero required course material costs.
The Low Cost icon is a blue book marked with a white capital letter “L”. A course marked with the Low Cost icon has a cumulative required course material cost of less than $45.
The absence of an icon can mean any of the following: information about required course materials has not yet been provided; information about required course materials has been provided and is being processed for marking; the cost of required course materials is greater than $45 at KU Bookstore (lower prices may be available from other vendors); or the course type is typically not associated with required course materials, such as Discussion (DIS) sections. Types of courses marked and not marked are listed in the FAQ. In some circumstances, materials may be required despite the lack of an icon, such as if an internship includes required books or other materials.
How to Use Affordable Course Markings
Browse or search for courses in Enroll & Pay and/or classes.ku.edu, noting the icons or textual attributes.
To search for affordable course sections in classes.ku.edu
- Select the Options button on the right side of the page
- With Options displaying, select the fifth drop down box on the left side of screen
- Select from three choices:
- Any textbook options
- No Course Materials Cost
- Low or No Course Materials Cost
- Run the search and view results
The default setting, Any textbook options, displays all course sections and associated icons — or lack thereof if course type is one of those typically not associated with materials, such as Discussion sections. In other words, this setting is not searching by affordability.
If No Course Material Cost is selected, only those course sections with the No Cost icon will be displayed.
If Low or No Course Materials Cost is selected, course sections with both the No Cost and Low Cost icons will display.
With course section numbers in hand, register at Enroll & Pay as normal.
The Course Marking Project Team is committed to make every effort to reflect student, faculty, & staff needs & feedback in design, implementation, and future development. We’re seeking to provide clear guidelines, training, and information to all parties, and to streamline participation by leveraging existing platforms and processes.
If course markings are helpful to you, please let us know!
If you enroll in a course that uses no cost or low cost textbooks and related materials, thank your instructor! They may have done significant extra work to lessen the cost of the course. Even when courses aren't marked as no cost or low cost, there's a good chance the instructor did what they could to minimize or reduce cost for students, and there are many strategies for finding the best price possible (used, rental, price comparison, etc.).