College students say no to costly textbooks

Tim Goral's picture
Wednesday, August 21, 2013

College students and some of their professors are pushing back against ever-escalating textbook prices that have jumped 82% in the past decade.

Growing numbers of faculty are publishing or adopting free or lower-cost course materials online.

Students also are getting savvier: 34% this spring reported downloading course content from an unauthorized website, up from 20% in 2010, says a survey released last month by the Book Industry Study Group, a trade association whose members include publishers, retailers, librarians, and other professionals engaged in print and electronic media. Also, 31% said they photocopied or scanned chapters from other students' books, up from 21% in 2010. The study (from spring 2013) is based on ongoing surveys involving about 6,000 book buyers a month.

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