Make Textbooks Affordable

Everyone knows that textbooks costs are out of control. The average student spends $900 per year, and prices are rising four times the rate of inflation!

It’s no accident that textbooks are so expensive.  Publishing companies have been raking in huge profits while engaging in bad practices that drive up costs: issuing new editions that make used books hard to find, bundling textbooks with unnecessary CDs and pass-codes, and more.  They get away with it because students don’t have a choice -- we’ve got to buy the book they’re selling, even if the price is outrageous.

The good news is that we have all of the technology we need to make textbooks affordable. Already, there are rental programs at more than 1,500 colleges, hundreds of sites selling used books and more ways to save than ever before. There's also new solutions like open-source textbooks, which could literally revolutionize how much students pay for their books.

We're fighting to rein in costs by promoting cost-saving solutions on campus, while also tackling publishers' stranglehold on the market to change prices for good.  We're educating students, faculty and bookstores, and raising awareness through researchand the media. We're also calling on publishers, colleges and foundations to support the creation of more open-source textbooks that could save students millions each year.

Issue updates

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Textbooks

U.S. PIRG Joins 91 Organizations In Calling on White House to Open Access to Federally Funded Educational Resources

Today, U.S. PIRG, along with a broad coalition of 91 education organizations, institutions of higher education, technology companies, and foundations called on the White House to ensure federally funded educational materials are made freely available to the public as the administration develops an Open Government Partnership plan this fall.

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Media Hit | Textbooks

Open Textbooks: The Current State of Play

Use of open textbooks, one form of OER, is gaining traction across different types of colleges and universities, and the catalog of OER textbooks continues to expand.

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Media Hit | Textbooks

The Death of Textbooks?

Artificially intelligent software is reshaping traditional teaching materials—but it's unclear what the new technology will take away from the learning experience.

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Media Hit | Textbooks

Student Groups Pressure Colleges Over the Insane Cost of Textbooks

Students can spend $1,300 per year on textbooks, but online textbooks could ease that burden, a new analysis finds

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Media Hit | Higher Ed, Textbooks

Putting a Dent in College Costs With Open-Source Textbooks

College students could save an average of $128 a course if traditional textbooks were replaced with free or low-cost “open-source” electronic versions, a new report finds.

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