TULSA, Oklahoma - About 2,500 students starting classes at Tulsa Community College have access to free textbooks, which could collectively save them about $500,000 dollars.

A couple professors last year taught lessons using free online textbooks.

This year a lot more are using books that, even printed in hardback, cost no more than about $65.

About 55 professors at TCC now use books from the non-profit publisher OpenStax.

"I think they're excellent. Each one of the textbooks is vetted by experts in the field," said Lisa Haldeman, northeast campus library director.

Students can read them online for free, or buy a copy at much lower cost than usual.

"This is one is about $165, this one is approximately $100," said student Devin Wniguez.

But she's returning those books to use the free alternative,which can be printed out at home.

"I can just print it out and read it. It's available online," said student Ashley Horn.

TCC encourages professors to use the OpenStax books to save students money.

"I am really happy to be doing this work. I feel like it's philanthropy at work," said Jennifer Kneafsey, professor.

The OpenStax books are available now for mainly core classes, but as that selection expands, TCC hopes more professors will adopt these low-cost textbooks.

"We hope to spread this year into more of the social sciences, history, the federal government, but we hope to expand," Kneafsey said.

Printed copies of the largest books are about $60, but most are about $35.

Student Lanae Oswald says it gives her the freedom to never carry a heavy textbooks if she only needs a few pages.

"You can pick and choose what you want. You can print them out if you're hands on. If there's something I want to highlight, I have that option to print it out," Oswald said.