By David Schick and Mary Beth Marklein. College students heading to campus this fall will probably pay more for new textbooks, but recent studies suggest that the era of costly course materials could be coming to an end.
College students and some of their professors are pushing back against ever-escalating textbook prices that have jumped 82% in the past decade. Growing numbers of faculty are publishing or adopting free or lower-cost course materials online.
Students also are getting savvier: 34% this spring reported downloading course content from an unauthorized website, up from 20% in 2010, says a survey released last month by the Book Industry Study Group, a trade association whose members include publishers, retailers, librarians, and other professionals engaged in print and electronic media. Also, 31% said they photocopied or scanned chapters from other students' books, up from 21% in 2010. The study (from spring 2013) is based on ongoing surveys involving about 6,000 book buyers a month. More...