Thursday, July 9, 2015

For Students, Textbooks Become Increasingly Optional Purchases - Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Ed

The average amount that college students spend on course materials appears to be declining. But not necessarily because textbooks are cheaper. A growing number of students, surveys show, simply skip buying required course materials. A survey of undergraduates on 23 campuses by the National Association of College Stores, expected to be released on Thursday, found that students spent an average of $563 on course materials during the 2014-15 academic year, compared with $638 the year before. The decrease is due in part to the rise of textbook-rental programs, which cost less, association officials note. But more students than in the past avoid acquiring course materials altogether, unless they see that the professor is making heavy use of the materials.

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