New Report: Covering the Cost of College – College Textbook Prices are out of control

A new report released by U.S. PIRG showed over the last decade, the price of college textbooks has soared. Since 2006, the cost of a college textbook increased by 73% – over four times the rate of inflation. Today, individual textbooks often cost over $200, sometimes as high as $400.

For the first time they wanted to investigate the degree at which prices actually affect student’s financial standing and behavior. This report aims to fill that gap, and make the case for urgent action around high textbook prices.

Key Findings from the Report:

Almost one-third (30%) of students replied that they had used financial aid to pay for their textbooks.

For those that used financial aid, the amount of financial aid dollars they put toward purchasing textbooks was more than $300 on average per semester.

Textbook prices disproportionately impact community college students: 50% of students report using financial aid for books at community colleges, compared to 28% at 4 year public schools. And, on average, community college students use more financial aid than their peers at 4 year schools.

That means that nearly 5.2 million U.S. undergraduate students spend a total of $1.5 billion dollars of financial aid on textbooks every semester, or $3 billion per year.
The report discusses potential solutions, and lays out recommendations for decision-makers on all levels.

Here is a link to the report: Covering the Cost Report