How Much Do Books Cost
Despite the available alternatives now, the cost of textbooks is rising just as tuition is also increasing. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics , the costs of new college textbooks have increased by roughly 6% per year since 2001, approximately triple the rate of inflation.
Meanwhile, the General Accountability Office reports that from 20022012, average textbook prices rose by 82%, while overall consumer prices increased only by 28%.
Suffice to say, the continuous rise in the prices of textbooks may have contributed to many students decision to find alternative resources to cut down their expenditures.
Higher Education In The Us
50 years ago, only 10% of the population attended college, mainly because it was generally reserved for a privileged few, and high school education was sufficient to enter the job market and build a comfortable career. Due to many different factors, this is no longer the case today, and the percentage of the population that has a college education has risen to more than 65%. In this period of time, the cost of tuition skyrocketed and continues to do so. In recent years, college tuition has risen almost six percent above the rate of inflation and increases at a rate of roughly 100% each decade. In the U.S., total student loan debt is twice the amount of total credit card debt.
On average, students that graduate with college degrees earn significantly more throughout their lifetime and are more likely to hold a job than those with only a high school degree. In addition, jobs that require at least a bachelor’s degree tend to have benefits such as healthcare, retirement investment accounts, and other perks. There are many other benefits that come with higher education college graduates have lower smoking rates , show fewer symptoms of depression, and participate in exercise more regularly than people who do not graduate from college. While the debt of student loans can be burdensome, it should be weighed against the benefits that come with higher education.
What Are The Extra Costs
Many classes require a workbook or lab manual in addition to the actual textbook. These books are usually cheaper, smaller, and more flimsy. The reason for this is that they are meant for the student to write in and are not meant to be used by more than one person. These workbooks and lab manuals are usually around $15-$50.
Optional study guides may be required outside of the book. These are guides that allow the student to write in them as the classes go on.
Some classes will need some type of computer program to complete as well. For example, a class on Microsoft Office will require that the student has a computer which runs MS office programs. This software is usually extra, but can also be purchased at a discount if it is for a class.
Other textbooks may require additional learning material that is used online. This material can be viewed using a special log-in code.
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Cons Of Free College Textbooks
- Textbooks are more costly than other books. In many cases, the cost to produce a textbook is costlier than other types of books. Meeting certain rigorous standards means higher costs.
- Textbook publishers could go out of business. Concerns of an even smaller market could result in higher prices and even less competition if free textbooks drive publishers out of business. Publishers only make money on new books sold, if there isnt an incentive to publish new books, it can cause problems for their bottom line.
What Else Are Schools Doing To Bring Down Costs
Some college libraries loan textbooks or provide electronic resources to students for free. One of the biggest efforts going out right now is known as inclusive access. This is an arrangement where colleges provide students with discounted digital access to course content on the first day of class by billing the student.
Some colleges work with publishers or bookstores to offer students digital textbook subscriptions. Through these subscriptions, a student pays a subscription fee that gives them access to all the materials they may need from a particular publisher for a semester or a year. If a student is assigned several textbooks from this publisher, it may be worthwhile. However, it probably wouldnt be a good deal if a student is assigned only one or two texts from this publisher.
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How Much Does The Average College Student Spend On Textbooks
There is a continuous decline in how much an average college student spends on textbooks and other course materials, as reported by several organizations.
According to Student Monitors Fall 2020 data, individual college students spending on course materials decreased by 7%, falling from $199 in Fall 2019 to $186 in Fall 2020. The revised College Board report shows a comparable figure of $410 spending on textbooks alone per year for public two-year and four-year institutions. Similarly, Student Watch reports $413 in spending for the 2019-2020 academic year.
The 2010 data shows nearly $700 spending on course materials . Florida Virtual Campus also reported that 53.2% of the students in their 2016 study spent more than $301 in the spring term. Hence, the decline in spending is significant.
The Cost Of College Textbooks
College books are not cheap. An individual book will often cost well over $100, sometimes over $200. The cost of books for a year of college can easily top $1,000. This is true whether you attend a pricey private university or an inexpensive community collegeunlike tuition, room and board, the list price for any given book will be the same at any type of college.
The reasons books cost so much are many:
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Best Ways To Save Money On College Textbooks
With the high cost of higher education and textbook prices, many students are looking for every way possible to save money. Course materials may raise the cost of your student loans or force you to pay out of pocket for expensive books.
With the average student paying over $1,200 for their textbooks during the academic year, you will definitely benefit from learning how to save some money on your college textbooks. Some of our top tips include:
Buying used books whenever possible
Buying older editions
Researching open education resources
Looking out for textbook scholarships
Lets take a deeper look at some of the top ways you can save money on textbooks every year.
How To Calculate The Cost Of Attending College
How much college is going to cost you really depends on your personal situation. But there are a couple of tools you can use to figure out how much youll have to pay:
- Net price calculator.Most schools have a net price calculator on their financial aid website that gives prospective students an estimate of how much your family is expected to contribute toward your educationmore info button and how much financial aid you might receive.
- FAFSA4caster. The FAFSA4caster gives you an estimate of how much federal aid you might qualify for at a particular school including grants, loans and work-study as well as the potential net price.
You might want to use both to get a more accurate estimate. A schools net price calculator might have a more accurate reading of institutional scholarships and grants you might qualify for. But the FAFSA4caster can give you a better idea of how much federal aid you might receive.
Which Major Has The Most Expensive Textbooks
College textbooks are, technically speaking, freaking expensive. The average undergraduate spends around $1,200 annually on books. This can be as much as 40% of total costs for those at community colleges.
Given long-term trends in textbook price growth, in a decade, we might find that $1,200 a comparative pittance. All education costs have risen over the last 40 years, but nothing compares to the surge in the cost of textbooks: they have increased 812% since 1978, and in the last several years, costs are rising as sharply as ever.
Though costly for all students in general, the expenses for textbooks for certain majors are particularly high. By our calculations, there are certain majors for which the textbooks in the average class costs four times the amount of the least expensive ones.
In order to assess which majors have the most expensive textbooks, we used data from the University of Virginias textbook list. This list includes all of the textbooks for courses in the Fall 2015 semester . The textbook list includes nearly 5,000 textbooks from over 750 different courses. Of course, these results are specific to UVA, but they can provide a glimpse into the textbook costs facing US college students more generally.
Dan Kopf, Priceonomics Data: UVA
Dan Kopf, Priceonomics Data: UVA
The following list shows the ten most expensive textbooks UVA students are asked to purchase:
Dan Kopf, Priceonomics Data: UVA
Rising Costs Of Textbooks
Over the past decade, the average cost of college textbooks has risen four times faster than the rate of inflation. According to the College Board, institutional budgets for college students included around $1,240 to $1,460 for books and supplies during the 2020-21 academic year. Many students make sacrifices such as taking fewer classes or skipping meals to afford textbooks, and 72% of students reported using financial aid or scholarship money to pay for textbooks.
The costs of textbooks may have an even bigger effect on community college students. According to a report by U.S. PIRG, 50% of community college students use financial aid to pay for college textbooks, compared with 28% at public 4-year colleges and 22% at private 4-year colleges.
The chart below illustrates college textbook inflation based on the college textbook component of the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers . The data shows a generally downward trend, but also that college textbook inflation is still elevated.
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Tuition Now Includes Books And Most Fees
Ocean County College is always looking for ways to make our students lives easier. Recently, we made some significant changes to the way you pay for tuition, fees, and books. We are bundling books and electronic course materials, as well as college and student fees, into the total cost of tuition. Not only will you no longer pay for books separately, the Student Fee, Tech Fee, IMAT, and registration fee have all been eliminated!
Our new tuition structure will save you a significant amount of time, money, and energy. You no longer need to search for and purchase course materials we will do it for you. You will get the exact books you need, when you need them, as determined by our faculty. Barnes & Noble will work closely with us to provide a low-cost version of the book for each course. For some courses that will mean book rentals, and for others, e-books. Faculty members will be informed of the version provided for their courses, and e-learning courses will, as always, be furnished with electronic materials in Canvas.
This new approach also ensures you will have the adopted book or material available to you on the first day of class. Having all your textbooks on day one will improve your academic experience and allow faculty to set the pace of the course knowing that all students have the required materials ready to go.
Plateau In Consumer Price Index For New Textbooks
Obviously spending does not equal prices for new materials, such as textbooks. One major contributor to the reduction in student spending has been the proliferation of acquisition options new and used print purchases, used print rentals, digital purchases, digital rentals, subscription options, and even pirated downloads. A second major contributor has been the slow but steady increase in usage of Open Education Resources , where the impact has been even larger than the 14-24% adoption rates would indicate. A third contributor is the move by the publishing and distribution market towards digital materials and even inclusive access models. There are some real problems to address in inclusive access models, but there is strong evidence that this move has led to reduced student spending overall.
But what about the actual price of new textbooks? It turns out that the market had a dramatic turn in 2016, changing from a constant increase is the average new pricing to a plateau, or even slight reduction. The best data source for this measure is the Bureau of Labor Statistics and their Consumer Price Index.
Simply put, the average price of new college textbooks stopped rising in 2016. Its that simple.
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Buy Your Textbooks As Soon As Possible
As the market for textbooks moves to the Internet, textbook customers are competing with other customers from across the country to find the best deals on books. The sooner you start looking, the more likely you are to snag a good deal. This advice doesnt go for new books, as they’ll likely remain the same price throughout the semester. However, used physical textbooks may see an increase in price the later you wait to purchase them.
Dont know what books you need? Be proactive. Reach out to your professors or advisor to find out.
Equipment Rental And Refundable Deposit
Students that have to pay a refundable deposit for loaning/renting equipment specific to their programs will be refunded the full amount of their deposit, if the equipment is returned is good condition subject to normal wear and tear. An proportionate amount will be deducted from their deposit if the equipment is not returned in good condition which will be equivalent to having the equipment repaired and maintained as before.
*Students may apply for an exemption from this fee if they have comparable coverage. Please contact the Student Association Benefits Office at 416-415-5000, ext. 2443 for the opt-out deadline, as no applications receive after the deadline will be accepted. Part-time students are not eligible for insurance coverage.
** If choosing to opt-out, please log into STU-VIEW and select Financial Services > View Fees to submit your opt-out choice. If you have any questions, please visit any of the Student Association Offices for assistance. No refunds will be issued after the opt-out deadline.
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How Much Are College Students Spending On Textbooks And Course Materials
Many college students forget to factor in the cost of textbooks and other course materials when budgeting for a four-year university or community college. Some students use financial aid to cover the cost of textbooks, while other students pay out of pocket and college textbooks are not known for their affordability.
The College Board found the average cost of books and supplies at a private college was $1,240 during the 2019-2020 school year. That number could be even higher for certain majors and college courses. Ouch.
You might be tempted to go without certain textbooks. If so, think again. It’s actually not a great alternative. A study by the nonprofit group U.S. PIRG found that while 65% of students opted not to buy at least one textbook because it cost too much, 94% of those students felt that it negatively affected their academic progress. No surprise there.
Check Out This 10% Off Coupon
For some courses and subjects, there’s no getting around it: You have to buy a new textbook. But here’s an offer that can help take the sting out of that book bill: You can go to Amazon right now through September 22 and use the code TEXT10 to get a 10% discount on your new textbook purchases, up to a maximum of $50 off.
Weve included affiliate links into this article. to learn what those are.
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Use Inclusive Access Textbooks
Inclusive access programs are a great cost-saving method for students. In these programs, a college or university purchases course materials in bulk from a publisher. That allows the school to include the cost in any course fees and college tuition cost. That decreases out-of-pocket student spending and allows every student to have the same materials on the first day of class.
How Much Does College Cost
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When thinking about the price of college, people often focus on college tuition costs. But the total price tag can include additional expenses ranging from housing and transportation to school supplies. Let’s take a look at the average costs behind a year of college.
In its 2021 report, Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid, the College Board reports that a moderate college budget for an in-state student attending a four-year public college in 2021-2022 averages $27,330. For out-of-state students at public colleges, the average budget comes to $44,150, and for students attending private colleges, the average budget is $54,800.
Source: College Board, Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid, 2021.
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How Students Are Reducing Costs
The findings of Florida Virtual Campus show that the most-used cost-saving measure reported by students is purchasing books from a source other than the campus bookstore . Results also show that a majority of survey participants reported a willingness to rent textbooks in order to reduce costs, and over a quarter of the students reported that they chose to rent digital textbooks rather than buy lifetime access to a digital version of a textbook.
Eric Weil, a managing partner at Student Monitor, said that students have at least 10 different options or combinations of options when it comes to deciding. They can purchase a new printed textbook or a used one, rent a book, or buy limited or unlimited access to e-books.