The Student PIRGs conducted this study to evaluate options from the traditional textbook market - rentals, e-books and e-readers - and open textbooks as potential next steps to reduce the high cost of textbooks. The report finds that student preferences vary widely, and that options like rentals and e-books only appeal to a subset of students. Open textbooks have the highest potential as a solution because they can meet the needs of all students.
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 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).
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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