Friday, August 13, 2010

NYT on textbook prices.

The New York Times money blog has a post about saving money on textbooks. Mostly it just covers the standard advice on finding cheaper books, but it does contain a couple interesting statistics.

"College textbook prices rose about 6 percent, on average, every year — that’s twice the rate of inflation — from 1986 to 2004."


“We are finding that 75 percent of students still prefer print to digital,” Ms. Allen added."

For my students the number is around 95%. Our population is a little older, but more importantly, they are a lot poorer.
Thankfully, federal rules that went into effect in July may help ease the pain. Publishers can no longer bundle their textbooks with accompanying materials like workbooks without offering the items separately, and they must reveal their prices to professors when making a sales pitch. Colleges, meanwhile, are now required to provide students with a list of assigned textbooks during course registration, which allows for more time for shopping before classes begin.
I heard people at the AAPT talking about the regulations and what a pain they are, but we have nothing at our institution regarding this. I'm pretty sure I could get in compliance quickly if I needed to, though.

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