Textbooks

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  ConnPIRG 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).

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.

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)

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.

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)

Report | Textbooks

Exposing the Textbook Industry

Today's college students are under enormous financial pressure. The gap between tuition and fees and financial aid leaves many students working long hours through college, struggling to make ends meet, and graduating with large debts. The high cost of textbooks is yet another financial burden. MASSPIRG conducted a survey of 287 professors from a variety of disciplines at Massachusetts colleges and universities over the fall semester of 2006 to get their views on textbook industry practices that drive up prices. (February 2007)

Report | Textbooks

Limited Knowledge

The future of academic research is in peril. University budgets are decreasing while the cost of academic journals is skyrocketing. As a result, universities are unable to purchase vital journal subscriptions that help boost the quality and success of new academic research. Fortunately, new and innovative solutions are growing in popularity and have the potential to change the future of academic communication. (September 2005)

Report | Textbooks

A Guide to Establishing Textbook Rental Services

One innovative way to lower textbook costs is allowing students to rent, rather than purchase, their textbooks each semester. This document is a twelve step guide for colleges and universities interested in lowering textbook costs for students by transitioning to a textbook rental service or exploring new, innovative business models. (July 2005)

Ripoff 101: 2nd Edition

In order to both confirm our initial findings and to follow up on a number of anecdotal reports of additional problems with textbook pricing, the State PIRGs conducted an expanded survey of the most widely purchased textbooks at 59 colleges and universities across the country. (February 2005)

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