College Textbook Costs: Factors, Trends and Access to Information


Lou S. Cousteau (Editor)

Series: Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World
BISAC: EDU029000

The rising costs of postsecondary education present challenges to maintaining college affordability. Textbooks are an important factor students need to consider when calculating the overall cost of attending college. In an effort to ensure that faculty and students have sufficient information about textbooks, Congress included requirements in the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) concerning publisher and school disclosures, as well as publisher provisions of individual course materials. The HEOA directed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine the implementation of the new textbook provisions.

This book addresses (1) the efforts publishers have made to provide textbook information to faculty and make bundled materials available for sale individually, and how these practices have informed faculty selection of course materials; and (2) the extent to which postsecondary schools have provided students and college bookstores access to textbook information, and what the resulting costs and benefits have been.

To conduct this study, the GAO interviewed eight publishers representing over 85 percent of new U.S. higher education textbook sales, administrators at seven schools, four campus bookstores, two national campus retailers, faculty and student groups at three schools, and others with relevant expertise. GAO also reviewed websites of a nationally representative sample of schools, complaint data from Education, and relevant federal laws. (Imprint: Novinka )

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


College Textbooks: Students Have Greater Access to Textbook Information

College Textbooks: Enhanced Offerings Appear to Drive Recent Price Increases


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