Make Textbooks Affordable

Everyone knows that textbooks prices are outrageous. Students spend an average of $1,200 a year on textbooks and course materials, and prices have been rising more than for times the rate of inflation for the past two decades!

It’s no accident that textbooks are so expensive. Publishing companies are raking in huge profits while engaging in bad practices that drive up costs: issuing new editions that make used books hard to find, bundling textbooks with unnecessary CDs and pass-codes, and more. They get away with it because students don’t have a choice -- we’ve got to buy the book they’re selling, even if the price is outrageous.

The good news is that we're making progress. Students can save hundreds through discounted options like renting, used books and bookswaps on campus.  

The real momentum comes from lasting solutions like open-source textbooks, which could literally revolutionize the textbook market by offering free online access and reducing costs up to 80%. Open source textbooks are faculty-written and peer reviewed just like published textbooks, but they're available free online, free to download, and affordable in print.

So we're fighting to rein in costs by promoting cost-saving solutions on campus, while also tackling publishers' stranglehold on the market to change prices for good.  We're educating students, faculty and bookstores, and raising awareness through research and the media. We're also calling on publishers, colleges and foundations to give faculty the training and resources they need to adopt open-source textbooks and save students millions each year.

QUESTIONS? Contact Our National Campaign Staff here.

Issue updates

News Release | Higher Ed

576 Higher Education Advocates Urge Congress to Protect Student Aid

Yesterday, 576 higher education advocates representing students, institutions, educators, and consumers sent a letter to Congress urging them to protect critical federal student aid programs.


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Blog Post | Higher Ed

576 Higher Education Groups Urge Congress to Support Student Aid | Kaitlin Steen

Today, 576 organizations and institutions of higher education sent a letter to Congress asking them to protect federal student aid as they finish up FY17 appropriations and start working on FY18. U.S PIRG worked in a large coalition representing students, institutions, educators, advocates, and employers to draft and circulate the letter of support. The letter comes after calls by President Trump to cut the Pell grant reserve by a combined $5.2 billion in FY17 and FY18 and multiple proposals in Congress to cut a portion of the Pell grant reserve. 

Letter:

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Blog Post | Higher Ed

It's Time for a Debt-Free Guarantee | Ethan Senack

This blog originally appeared on HuffPost Education.


As a nation, we've long believed that education is a gateway to greater opportunity.

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Result | Higher Ed

Letter to Congress: Don't Raid Pell Funding

The undersigned organizations urge you to oppose any attempt to raid Pell Grant funding as you advance FY 2017 appropriations.

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