College textbooks: The final blow of higher education’s affordability crisis

For many college students, paying for tuition is already financially challenging. A survey done by Barnes and Noble College Insights found that 85% of respondents said that paying for higher education for the 2021-2022 school year will be challenging. One unfortunate way students deal with their budget constraints is skipping out on purchasing required course materials. A VitalSources study found that 85% of the students surveyed had chosen to either not buy or delay buying course materials at some point in their college career, and 91% of those students said cost was the ultimate reason they didn’t buy their textbooks. Half of those students also said that their grades suffered because of it.

With the average cost of college being $35,720 per year in the United States, there should be no reason that college students should not have access to all the materials they need to be successful in their courses at no additional cost.

Between 2006 and 2016, the price of textbooks increased by 88% and has increased more than 1000% since the 1970s.

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