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Zero Textbook Costs

What is ZTC?

Zero Textbook Costs (ZTC) means that there is no cost for required textbooks, workbooks, lab manuals, readers, or specialized software like online homework systems. There is a state law (SB 1359) that requires California Community Colleges to identify Zero Textbook Costs course sections.

Searching for ZTC Courses

You can search for ZTC courses in the online class schedule or in eServices.

Low Cost Textbook Designation

Low-Cost icon

The Low Cost designation can also be applied in the textbook cost filter. The Low Cost symbol is a dollar sign in a down arrow and means that a student will pay $40 or less for all required instructional materials in that course section.

  • Instructional materials include required textbooks, workbooks, lab manuals, readers, or specialized websites or software like online homework systems. The definition does not apply to supplemental items such lab coats and kits, goggles, a calculator, blue books, scantron forms, art supplies, etc.
  • The designation is based on the pre-tax retail price of new materials in the ARC Bookstore only. It does not apply to the price of used or rental books or ebooks available through the ARC Bookstore or any other bookseller.
  • A section that uses free digital materials, but requires students to print some or all of the course materials may be designated as Low Cost if the printing costs can be reasonably expected to be under $40.

Double Check Your Textbook Information

Sometimes the instructor assigned to a course may change before the first day of class and this could also affect the ZTC designation and textbook information. It is a good idea to double check the course information a week before classes start to make sure the information that was provided when you registered has remained the same. If the instructor’s name has changed, the ZTC designation or textbook information may have also changed.