The “textbook rebellion” organizers will also advocate for more open source textbook options. These books are published online with an open license, meaning they’re free to students.

Allen said that even with the proliferation of low-cost textbook sites like Chegg and BookRenter, many college students continue to buy their books for full price at the campus bookstore.

“There is still a long way to go before students know they can take advantage of these options,” she said. “I think lawmakers are paying attention, but this isn’t something we can solve through legislation. You can’t pass a bill making textbooks affordable. … It’s a market-based problem and the solutions have to come from the market.”

Simkin said skyrocketing textbook sticker prices most affect freshmen and sophomores who don’t consider their options before purchasing their pile of books for each class. College seniors, Simkin said, often have the hang of it, after paying full price for three years.

“It really is a shame,” he said. “You see a lot of seniors who have finally figured it out, but there’s not really much in the way of educating students about where they can find cheaper books.”


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