Make Textbooks Affordable

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Result | Textbooks

Law now requires textbook publishers to disclose prices to faculty

OSPIRG research showing how  textbook publishers' tactics drive up textbook costs have helped launch a national campaign, generated national media coverage, sparked a Congressional investigation, and crafted a set of policy solutions that were subsequently used by Congress to help address the problem.

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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. 

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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  OSPIRG 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).

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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.

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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)

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