The University of Iowa

Affordable Content Initiatives

As costs of attending college continue to rise, the University of Iowa is trying to find new ways to help alleviate the cost for course content. The Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology; University Libraries; and the Hawk Shop bookstore are working on affordable content initiatives as outlined below.

ICON Direct 

Being prepared with course materials positively contributes to a student's academic success.  As a founding member of the Unizin Consortium, the University of Iowa aims to provide students with more affordable access to course content. The partnerships between Unizin and major academic publishers allow ICON Direct participants to save on both eTexts and online learning platforms such as Pearson's MyLab or McGraw Hill's Connect. All enrolled students are given access to these digital materials for their classes through ICON.  For more information:

Open Educational Resources
OpenHawks: UI Libraries’ Open Educational Resources Grant Program

We are happy to announce OpenHawks, a campus-wide grant program that funds faculty efforts to replace their current textbooks with Open Educational Resources (OER) for enhanced student success. OER (such as textbooks, videos, assessment tools, lab books, research materials or interactive course modules) are free for students and carry legal permission for open use. 

How to apply?

Call for Proposals: Here you can find more information about OpenHawks and instructions for applying. Spring 2019 applications are due on April 26, 2019.

Application: Once you’re ready to apply, click here and complete your application in Qualtrics.

Evaluation Rubrics: These are the criteria reviewers will use to make funding decisions.

Textbook Affordability Pilot (TAP)

With money allocated from UISG and the Libraries, the TAP project has purchased and collected donations of textbooks for courses with the highest undergraduate enrollments, as well as the highest costs of resources. These books will be placed on course reserves, both in Main Library and the branch libraries. If you have a suggestion for a textbook to be purchased by TAP, contact Selection Committee Chair, Mahrya Burnett at

Iowa Hawk Shop logo
Hawk Shop Bookstore Rentals

Save money by renting your books. The Hawk Shop carries over 1000 rentable titles.  We purchase from hundreds of vendors to get the most competitive prices.  At the end of the semester you just return your rented books to the Hawk Shop in the Iowa Memorial Union.  You can rent eligible books in the Hawk Shop at the Iowa Memorial Union or online: