The U.S. Public Interest Research Group has released a new report on textbook affordability in common college courses across the country. Press release here:
Main findings include:
"When publishers bundle a textbook with an access code, it eliminates most opportunities for students to cut costs with the used book market. Of the access code bundles in our sample, forty-five percent—nearly half—were unavailable from any other source we could find except the campus bookstore. This eliminated student’s ability to shop around and meant that they were forced to pay full price for these materials. For the classes using bundles, students would likely be stuck paying full price, whereas for the classes using a textbook only, students could cut costs up to fifty-eight percent by buying used online.
Schools that have invested in open educational resources (OER) generated significant savings for their students. OER are educational materials that can be downloaded or accessed for free online while carrying many other benefits for students and professors. For example, in Massachusetts, Greenfield Community College’s use of OER in three of the six courses in our study meant that students there could spend as little as $31 per course on materials, compared to a national average of $153 per course.
Switching the ten introductory classes in our study to OER nationwide would save students $1.5 billion per year in course materials costs."
Full report downloadable here: https://studentpirgs.org/reports/sp/open-101-action-plan-affordable-textbooks