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 | Student PIRGs | Higher Ed, Textbooks

REPORT: Open Textbooks: The Billion-Dollar Solution

A report released today by the Student PIRGs shows that an alternative textbook model called open textbooks could save undergraduate students more than a billion dollar a year.

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Report | Student PIRGs | Textbooks

Open Textbooks: The Billion Dollar Solution

New report shows alternative textbook model could save students a billion dollars.

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How students are engaging textbook companies in a duel against high prices, and winning

Before entering the classroom of an intro-level economics course, students get a real-life experience with the subject — the required textbook costs $290 on Amazon.

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Q&A with Congressman Peter DeFazio on GMOs, veteran’s health care and college costs

On Friday, March 7, 2014, Congressman Peter DeFazio came to a press event put on by Oregon Students Interest Research Group  to speak out about the labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms and OSPIRG’s campaign to ask markets and grocery store chains to label foods that contain GMOs.

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Avoid the Debt Trap

Summary

Avoid The Debt Trap provides you with the tools to avoid misleading and predatory practices by financial institutions and the knowledge you need to protect yourself, empowering students as financial consumers. This guide will help you understand and manage the basics of personal finance: banks, bank accounts, ATMs, bank fees, credit & debit cards, credit scores, budgeting, debt collection, ID theft, and financial privacy.

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