eBook pilot could save college students a ‘huge amount of money’

The eTextbook pilot program will cost $20,000.

The University of Wisconsin (UW) Madison campus and five other major universities announced plans this week to try buying electronic textbooks in bulk, an experiment that officials say could help rein in burdensome textbook costs and bring eTextbooks into the mainstream.

The university will try it on a small scale at first, in five courses involving about 600 students at the start of the school’s spring semester.

At UW-Madison, students will spend an average of about $1,140 on books and supplies this year, up from $680 in 2001-02.…Read More

Rising costs force students to skimp on textbooks

As the cost of textbooks continues to rise, many college students are choosing to skimp on textbooks to save money, reports the Huffington Post. Seven out of 10 undergraduates surveyed at 13 college campuses said they had not purchased one or more textbooks because the cost was too high, according to a new survey released Thursday by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. The Government Accountability Office has estimated that textbooks cost a quarter the average tuition for state universities and three-fourths the average tuition at community colleges…

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Site lets college students find low-price textbooks, quickly

Students paid an average of $1,100 for books and supplies last academic year.

Students’ hours-long web searches for cheap textbooks might be over.

SwoopThat.com, a site launched this spring, lets college students search many of the most popular websites – including Chegg.com, BookRenter.com and Amazon — for low-cost textbooks in one easy step: Plugging in a class schedule.

Once the student enters his or her courses for the coming semester, SwoopThat generates a list of every book needed for each class, along with every online textbook service that offers those textbooks at a discount. SwoopThat, which searches more than 15 million textbooks, has matched books to courses at 380 colleges, universities, and private schools.…Read More

Are textbooks a ‘scam’? Students think so

Renting textbooks can save thousands over a four-year college career, industry experts say.
Renting textbooks can save thousands over a four-year college career, industry experts say.

Buying pricey textbooks has never been a back-to-school highlight for college students, but according to a survey released Aug. 12, students rank textbooks among their leading wastes of money and the “biggest scam” in higher education.

Disdain for the costliness of textbooks was just one of the many financial worries revealed in a survey of college students conducted by online textbook rental company BookRenter, which launched in 2008 and serves about 5,000 college campuses with a library of 3 million textbooks.

The survey results echo a sentiment expressed by many student activists in recent years as textbook prices have soared and web-based book rental web sites have attracted millions of customers with texts often marked down by more than half the retail cost.…Read More