August 23, 2013

Students find new ways around costly textbooks


College students heading to campus this fall will probably pay more for new textbooks, but recent studies suggest that the era of costly course materials could be coming to an end.

In the past decade, textbook prices have increased 82%.  With these rising prices, students and faculty are looking to lower cost options such as used books, online material or photocopies.  Recent surveys from the Book Industry Study Group show that this past spring 34% of students downloaded course material from an unauthorized website which is up from 20% in 2010 while 31% of students photocopied or scanned material from other students’ books.

Textbook publishers have been able to drive prices because students have to buy the textbooks they’ve been assigned however with more options available students and faculty are taking a stand against expensive course material.  In 2008, congress passed a law requiring publishers to provide more information to faculty about the costs of materials they require students to buy and requiring colleges to disclose prices to students in a timely manner so they can plan.

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