University of Utah exploring using free, online textbooks

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"[Books] can be a financial burden," said Rachel Wootten, a geography and political-science major.

The cost of textbooks has risen a staggering 812 percent since 1978, according to an analysis by the American Enterprise Institute. At the University of Utah, the average student cost for books and supplies is $1,000 a year, on top of nearly $7,000 a year for in-state tuition.

But a new U. Academic Senate committee wants to do something about it. The group last week voted to explore saving students money by using open-source textbooks — books licensed to be downloaded for free online. Senate president Allyson Mower, a U. librarian, said she’s aiming to cut costs by $500 a year.

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