Make Textbooks Affordable

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News Release | Textbooks

New Laws, Free Books and Textbook Rentals Could Help Curb Rising Costs This Fall

BOSTON, Mass. (August 26, 2010) — Students across the country are gearing up for sticker shock over textbook prices this semester.  The average student spends $900 per year on textbooks, and new calculations by  MASSPIRG Students show that costs have increased at an astounding rate: textbook wholesale prices have risen more than four times the rate of inflation over the last two decades (1990-2009).

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News Release | Textbooks

New Federal Law Will Curb Skyrocketing Textbook Costs

A groundbreaking federal law designed to tackle the rapidly rising cost of textbooks has kicked in just in time to impact college students this fall.  The law, which was part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) passed by Congress in 2008, is considered the first major federal action on this issue.

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Course Correction

The Student PIRGs conducted this study to determine how digital textbooks can live up to their potential as a solution.  Through a survey of 504 students from Oregon and Illinois and 50 commonly assigned textbook titles, we confirm three fundamental criteria – affordability, printing options, and accessibility.  We found that publishers’ digital “e-textbooks” fail to meet these criteria, and that an emerging form of digital textbooks – open textbooks – are a perfect match. (August 2008)

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News Release | Higher Ed, Textbooks

Congress Moves to Cut Textbook Costs in Landmark Bill

Marking the first major federal action to curb the skyrocketing cost of college textbooks, Congress approved legislation today that will bring down prices for millions of students.

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Report | Textbooks

Required Reading

Over the last three years, research conducted by the Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) and others have shown that textbooks are a growing cost of going to college. These studies also have found that the textbook industry is using a host of practices that drive up the price of college textbooks. In the fall of 2006, we interviewed faculty members, walked through bookstores and interviewed bookstore staff to uncover textbooks that reveal six types of textbook industry gimmicks. (October 2006)

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