News

Book prices rise faster than inflation

book-graphicStudents will be paying more for textbooks this year as textbook prices continue to rise.

According to the New York Times article titled “Textbook Publisher to Rent to College Students,” textbook prices have tripled from 1986 to 2004, rising an average of six percent a year. That is equal to twice the rate of inflation.

The average annual cost of books is $700 to $1000, according to this same article.

In an effort to assuage the cost of keeping up in your classes textbook rental websites and pilot programs have popped up on campuses across the country.

Follett Higher Education Group, which manages UM’s and 850 other bookstores, is starting a pilot rental program this fall at 12 of their stores.

UM will not be one of these stores.

They plan to offer 20 percent of their titles at 42.5 percent of the purchase price.

“There’s a changing climate in the industry, with all the pressures on the costs of higher education,” Elio Distaola of Follett told the New York Times. “The reason we’re doing the rental pilot is just to see the viability of the program.”

Bookstores are responding to the increasingly popular textbook rental websites like Chegg.com and BookRenter.com.

Websites like Chegg allow students to rent an unlimited number of books per semester. Each book has a specific rental fee.

The average rental price on Chegg offers a savings of 65 to 85 percent off the publisher’s suggested list price, according to their Web site.

At the end of the semester Chegg customers print a prepaid return shipping label and ship their textbooks back to the supplier.

Chegg and campus bookstores follow similar guidelines when accepting books for buy-back, allowing highlighting to a minimal extent but frowning upon hand-written notes. The website claims to have saved students over $42 million.

UM’s library will not be renting books either.

“There are a few libraries across the country that are working on text book programs that involve reserve copies, swap programs, and rental programs, but we don’t have anything official in place at this time,” said librarian Yolanda Lee Cooper.

According to the Office of Financial Assistance, the university offers book scholarships to students whomake commitments to the university, such as cheerleaders and athletes.

August 26, 2009

Reporters

Laura Edwins

Managing Editor


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Book prices rise faster than inflation”

  1. Bill Vilberg says:

    Great story on the high costs of textbooks. I encourage students to learn about open source textbooks by going to the http://www.maketextbooksaffordable.org/ web site. Textbooks for many classes, especially those taken in the first two years of a college program, are often free on-line or around $30 published. If nothing else, see if you can locate an Open Textbook for a class that you are taking, and then use it as a study guide. If it is good, recommend it to your professor. We don’t want to lower the quality of your education, but Open Texbooks are of high quality, I have confidence that they will be considered. Feel free to contact me on Facebook (http://facebook.com/bill.vilberg) if you want to encourage the use of Open Textbooks at UM.

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

Duke Johnson, the all-time leading rusher in Miami Hurricanes history, was one of a dozen members of ...

The Miami Hurricanes, still waiting for a starting quarterback to be named, are in the top 25 again. ...

Happy first day of school for everyone out there, including the University of Miami students. We jus ...

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.