Textbooks

Campaign | Textbooks

Make Textbooks Affordable

Every student knows that textbook prices are outrageous! Many books cost over $200 a piece and end up worth pennies by the end of the semester, often thanks to unnecessary new editions and pass-codes that expire. It's time for publishers to stop charging ridiculous prices and start taking advantage of today's technology to offer students a better deal. Our campaign is working to increase the use of "open textbooks," which are free online, free to share, and affordable in print -- the ideal publishing model to make textbooks affordable.

News Release | Textbooks

'Textbook Rebellion' Launches Cross-Country Tour

The Textbook Rebellion kicked off a six-week, cross-country tour with events planned for 40 campuses nationwide.  At the tour stop, the University of Maryland, coalition members, students, faculty and a representative from the U.S. Department of Education were joined by the tour mascots, 'Mr. $200 Textbook' and 'Textbook Rebel,' to announce the launch.

Ripoff 101: Tips for Saving on Textbooks

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It's been 8 years since we launched a campaign to make textbooks more affordable. I’m impressed by the progress we’ve made, but there’s still much work to be done.

It’s buying season though, so before I give the rundown on the campaign, check out the NYT’s Guide to Finding Cheap Textbooks.

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Report | Textbooks

A Cover to Cover Solution

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. 

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  WashPIRG 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)

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