August 25, 2005

High Cost of College Textbooks

As a college student, the high cost of textbooks is a concern.

$706.57 for 12 textbooks.
After buying textbooks for two years at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Louiza Zouzias has come to expect high prices for the hefty books.

But even Zouzias was shocked Wednesday when the bookstore cash register displayed a $706.57 tab for 12 books she needs this semester, including a $160.15 economics book.

"I still have a few more I have to buy," sighed Zouzias, an accounting major, as she handed over a check. "I never get used to that much money coming out of my pocket."
According to Government Accountability Office:
The GAO, an independent, investigative arm of Congress, found that an average student spends between $850 to $900 on textbooks and supplies, approximately 26 percent of the cost of tuition and fees at a public, four-year college. [..]

The GAO study also found that publishers bundle supplemental materials with books to artificially drive up textbook costs.
Pat Quinn Illinois Lt. Governor propose reform called College Textbook Initiative 2005 to address the growing problems of high price of college textbooks.

Requiring stores which sell college textbooks to make “unbundled” booksavailable for purchase, so students may buy materials a la carte.

Providing a sales tax exemption for college textbooks.

Requiring publishers to provide at least one free copy each textbook per 100 students in the class to the college library for use in its reserve collection.

Urging faculty to consider cost when assigning textbooks for their

Urging students to participate in textbook swapping or rental programs.

All the reforms propose are good steps in reducing the price of textbooks, an other one will be a back-to-school sales tax holiday also proposed by Pat Quinn.
Under the proposal, the state’s portion of the sales tax (5 percent) would be waived on school supplies up to $50, clothing up to $100, and computers and software up to $3,000. County and municipal governments could opt in to the holiday regarding their locally-imposed sales taxes.
The propose reforms by Lt. Governor of Illinois Pat Quinn are common sense measures that should have bi-partisan support in helping reduce the high cost of education. I know this is not a big issue as in Iraq or Social Security but education reform and reducing the cost or higher education should be on all Democratic candidates for office platforms.


At April 30, 2006 9:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sick of freaking expensive books and the fact they keep coming out with new editions that have like a word changed every year. I have been using the site which has really helped me. I found them in money magazine last year and they give really good deals on a bunch of book sites. I just can't wait until everyone uses sites like this one so the college book companies stop making so much money of us poor college students.


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