Textbook prices on the rise

several textbooks sitting on the library shelf

According to the American Enterprise Institute, college textbook prices have risen 812 percent in the past 30 years.
This greatly surpasses the price inflation of medical services (512 percent) and new homes (325 percent) during the same time period. Comparing textbooks to the 250 percent increase of the consumer price index, they have risen more than three times as much as any other product or service that consumers purchase.
Many students are feeling the burn at the bookstore register. The College Board, an association that provides resources for students, parents and universities in the interest of college readiness, expects students to shell out more than $1200 a year for necessary textbooks.
There’s always the option to purchase older editions but quite often professors have based their entire course around the new and updated editions, leaving some students behind on key material.
Christina Belville, a senior at North Carolina State University, says, “Most kids aren’t getting the books they need because they’re out trying to find the ones they can afford.”
There are other alternatives. The rental and e-book markets are growing but there are added costs of convenience tacked onto those. There are open source textbook websites emerging, but they hardly hold any of the most popular educational titles.
It has come to the point where, according to U.S. Public Interest Research Group, seven out of 10 college students admit to not buying excessively expensive course materials.
As students go into the classroom they’re not the only ones thinking of textbook prices. Professors are also aware of how much of a burden paying for required reading can be.
William Peace University Professor Dr. Lynn Owens says, “I remember textbooks being difficult to buy when I was a student, so the prices of textbooks are what I always take into consideration before I assign a textbook. So, I think students on a budget should look at all the options available to them.”

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