Tuesday, August 24, 2004
- Schools including Columbia and the University of Missouri are trying to put more of their reading materials online to avoid textbook expense.
- "[A]bout 85% of students in 2003 said they bought all of their required texts, with the others choosing to do without some readings. That's a drop from 91% in 1999." See, demand curves do slope downward!
- A CalPIRG study states that the average student on a UC campus spent about $900/year on textbooks in 2003-04, up 41% from 1998-99. Wholesale costs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics producer price index, have gone up 35.1% for textbooks versus 5.43% overall.
- According to this article, unlike the earlier article I posted, faculty in the Wisconsin system using the rental textbooks must commit to using a text for three years, in order to make the program pay off. As one might expect, it has both signficant start-up costs and a carrying cost from holding inventory of books for courses not being taught in a particular semester (where do you store them?)
And more and more students are buying their textbooks online. For those unable to read the article from the WSJ, here are the two additional sites mentioned to buy textbooks (besides Amazon, BN and Half.com).
Thompson Higher Education's Digital Discounts
Pearson Education SafariX Textbooks Online.