One hundred textbooks were distributed to Heartland Community College students at the start of the semester at little or no cost through a book swap organized by student government.
One hundred books might not seem like a lot at a school with an enrollment of 5,000 students. But for students who took part, it represented a savings of more than $10,000, based on prices from the Heartland Bookstore, said Marvin Rasch, director of student engagement.
While a lot of attention is focused on rising tuition costs, textbook prices are following a similar trajectory.
Prices of new textbooks increased more than 80 percent from 2002 to 2012 at the same time overall consumer prices increased less than 30 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.