HEOA and Information about Course Books

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires that Yale make available to students information regarding the price of books for each course offered. The book information must be included in the online course syllabus or via a link from course registration systems. Below is a summary of the law and of Yale’s method for compliance.

The HEOA book provisions were enacted to help decrease the cost of course materials by providing timely information to students so that they could make informed purchasing decisions. A key requirement is that every institution must post online the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and retail price of every recommended or required book or supplemental material for all courses listed in its course schedules. If the ISBN is unavailable, the institution must provide the author, title, publisher, and copyright date. Supplemental material is any educational material developed to accompany the book (e.g., a DVD).

Instructors in Yale College can make the required book information for their courses available to students in one of the following two ways:

  1. Many faculty members currently make course books available by placing orders with the Yale Bookstore (Barnes and Noble) using BNC Adoption & Insights. For books ordered through the Yale Bookstore, the store will post the HEOA-required information on its website. As students view online course schedules, they will be able to click on links that will take them to the store’s website, where they can see the relevant book information and buy books online. Although Barnes and Noble will handle the ISBN and price notifications, Yale faculty members are responsible for providing course book information on a timely basis. In order to allow for processing, Barnes and Noble must receive this information at least one week before classes start. For courses or books added at a later date, the information should be provided as soon as possible.
  2. Faculty members who choose not to place book orders at Barnes and Noble are responsible for collecting the ISBN and retail price information for recommended and required books as well as supplementary materials for their courses. Normally, the ISBN and an average retail price can be obtained directly from the publisher or from an online bookseller; if the ISBN is not available, the author, title, publisher, and copyright date of the book must be provided. Faculty must make this information available to students by including the required information in the course syllabus. Because the HEOA requires that the information be available via a link from the online course schedule, the syllabus must be uploaded to the Yale Canvas website.

It is recommended that faculty inform students during the first week of classes about which bookstore has the course books.