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

Resource | Textbooks

Make Textbooks Affordable: Recommendations to Faculty

Summary

Faculty are in charge of selecting textbooks, which puts them in a key position to help students save money.  Follow these guidelines to help minimize costs.

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Resource | Textbooks

Tips to Save on Textbooks

Summary

Even though students are stuck paying publishers' outrageous prices, you do have a few tools to reduce how much you spend.  Being a smart consumer could save you hundreds of dollars every year.  Follow these tips to save on textbooks!

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Groups target textbook prices to rein in college costs

A push to create free or inexpensive textbooks is gaining momentum as educators, philanthropists and policymakers nationwide search for new ways to rein in college costs.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Foods, Waste

Stop Subsidizing Junk Food: Galley Closing and Panel

Government subsidies that benefit big agribusinesses, like Monsanto and Cargill, have made products like corn syrup so cheap that it's less expensive to buy a Twinkle than a bunch of carrots. The majority of these subsidies go to less than 10% of farms in America, and yet these farms receive more than $245 billion to grow only a handful of cash crops that are made into unhealthy, processed foods. It should come as no suprise to us then that childhood obesity has more than quadrupled in the last forty years. We need to end this wasteful government spending program.

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Oregon Renters' Guide

Summary


Read on to learn how to keep your security deposit, get that toilet fixed, deal with a difficult landlord and more.

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