New Legislation for Affordable Textbooks

| July 28, 2010

The price of textbooks has increased at four times the rate of inflation since 1994. Earlier this month, new legislation (2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act)  was adopted to get textbook pricing under control. According to the guidelines, textbook publishers and institutions will be required to:

  • Disclose price and copyright dates of the previous three editions.
  • Disclose revisions between a new edition and previous versions.
  • Differentiate between unbundled versions and versions that include unnecessary supplements like CDs and passcodes.
  • List information on textbooks within course schedules in a timely fashion and encourages the universities to “provide the list of assigned textbooks for each course so students can shop around for the best deal.”

Many argue that the act is dated because students already search for his information on sites like Amazon. Many universities are already working to cut costs by partnering with publishers to access digital textbooks, creating free online textbooks, allowing students to rent textbooks and purchasing textbooks in bulk.