Found this great post with the screaming headline, “College Textbook Prices up 186% since ’86: Enter Revolution” over at the Businessshrink.biz. Below are some highlights from the article that attempts to understand the textbook market. The post mentions various new ventures in the textbook space — many of which were launched by students (meet founders of the opensource textbook movement at TexbookRevolution.org here).
From the article,
The DOE study states that full-time students at four-year public colleges spend an average of $893 a year on textbooks and about $10 less a year for two-year students. The most interesting figure from this study is that since 1986, the textbook prices have risen almost 186 percent, or 6 percent a year. When you look at other product prices in the market they all generally rose by about 3 percent. Some public and private universities publish their own figures of college textbook costs for a student per year and they range from $400 – $1,300.
Later in the post,
Interviewed right here on the Business Shrink radio show, we had Jason Turgeon, who is one of the pioneers in this industry of trying to remove the middleman from the textbook market. Jason describes Textbookrevolution.org on his website like this, “Textbook Revolution is the web’s source for free educational materials. This is a student-run, volunteer-operated website started in response to the textbook industry’s constant drive to maximize profits instead of educational value. TBR’s mission is to drive the adoption of free textbooks by teachers and professors. We want to get these books into classrooms. Our approach is to bring all of the free textbooks we can find together in one place, review them, and let the best rise to the top and find their way into the hands of students in classrooms around the world.