Zero Textbook Cost

All the knowledge, none of the textbook costs

To reduce the cost of learning for students, KPU started Canada’s first Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) initiative. Instead of textbooks, we use library and open educational resources (OER) in over 950 course sections.

Since ZTC started in 2018, KPU has gone even further, offering many credential programs with zero textbook cost through the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Academic and Career Preparation and the Wilson School of Design.

ZTC helps remove barriers to access post-secondary education, adapting our programs to create a more equitable place for all students to learn.

ZTC Courses and Programs

Use the Register for Classes app at to search for course sections with zero textbook costs (Browse Classes> Select a Term> Advanced Search> Attribute> Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC)).

In addition to individual course sections, KPU offers eight complete credentials that don't require the purchasing of commercial textbooks:

Did you know?

ZTC saved students more than $2 million dollars during remote learning in 2020, and KPU continues to see growth in its ZTC initiative.


KPU ZTC Data Dashboard



FAQs about the ZTC Initiative


What makes a course ZTC?

To be considered ZTC, your course must have zero required textbook costs. You can achieve this by,

  • having no required textbook,
  • assigning open educational resources (OER), such as an open textbook,
  • assigning KPU Library resources that are free for students,
  • assigning instructor-created resources, such as instructor notes or other resources posted on Moodle,
  • assigning free online resources.

Sections may be included in the ZTC if a commercial textbook is optional or if students have the option to purchase a print copy of an open textbook (as long as this is not required).

What about non-textbook course materials?

Requiring students to pay for lab manuals or homework systems means that the course cannot be marked ZTC. Studio fees and equipment/supplies such as calculators/art supplies do not impact the ZTC designation.

How do I find open resources for my course?

Several online sites and repositories exist that contain OER supporting a variety of disciplines and subject areas. For more in-depth guidance on searching, visit the KPU Library Open Educational Resources research guide or book a consultation.