Cost of College Textbooks

There’s been some recent discussion in the blogosphere about the cost of college textbooks.  The discussion involves these ideas:

  • The College Board reports that college students should budget $1,200 for textbooks/year.
  • Surveys of college students suggest that students actually spend about $600/year on textbooks.

The discussion centers on a few points:

  • How much do these costs affect students’ enrollment and educational success?
  • How much do the expenditures relate to first-generation college students?
  • What are the effects of students trying to cut costs on textbooks?
  • What set of data make sense for making policy decisions?
  • Is the actual expenditure on textbooks so low because students max-out their budget?
  • What about “recommended” vs. “required” materials?

Everyone seems to agree that the cost of required materials is too high.

This debate is fascinating and very important.  Here are links to the blogs discussing it (and many of then present very good data):

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