College students would save nearly 40 percent, or an average of $245 a semester, on the cost of their college textbooks if they shopped online, according to a new report from the New York state comptroller’s office, reports the Buffalo News. State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli is just the latest to weigh in on the rising cost of college textbooks, which has increased an average of 6 percent a year, or twice the rate of inflation, since 1986, according to the U. S. Government Accountability Office. DiNapoli’s office reviewed the fall curriculum for several majors, at several State University of New York campuses, then compared the cost of the textbooks at the campus bookstore with the cost of those books found online. State legislation signed earlier this year and federal legislation that will take effect in 2010 would require publishers to disclose more information about textbooks, including price and any substantial changes between editions. They also would be required to provide alternatives to the "bundled" textbooks, or those that come with items like CD-ROMS and workbooks, which drive up costs. The comptroller’s report, though, makes several suggestions to colleges, including posting online a course listing with required textbooks at least six weeks before the start of classes, so students can shop around for the best prices…

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