NEWER POST

Trashy Travels Highlights Baltimore's Cinematic Side

OLDER POST

Charitably Chic: Shop to Give

Schools

Can Textbooks Get Cheaper By Going Digital?

0 Written by: | Monday, Oct 17, 2011 12:00am

As any empty-pocketed student (or parent) knows, the cost of college hardly ends when you’ve ponied up for tuition and room & board. Textbooks can add up quickly (just look at this list of last year’s most expensive textbooks — all over $500 — to see what we mean). At the University of Maryland at College Park, the average student will spend over $500 each semester on textbooks (whose prices have increased four times as quickly as the rate of inflation since 1994) — that’s nearly 13 percent of the cost of in-state tuition. In an attempt to stem these skyrocketing costs, Maryland is one of several states to have a law mandating affordable textbooks.

Prices are high in part because textbook publishers know they have a built-in market; they also tend to bundle extras — CDs, workbooks, etc. — that drive up costs even further. But some professors (and students) are taking matters into their own hands, by harnessing the power of the internet to re-sell old textbooks, and even to make their own customized textbooks at a fraction of the cost.

The Chronicle says that new services like AcademicPub, which allow profs to compile articles, case studies, reports, book chapters, and white papers into tailor-made, class-specific texts, also drive down costs by allowing students to download them as e-books. (One custom marketing text was priced at $14.95 for the digital edition, $27 for the paperback, or $45 for the hardcover). AcademicPub takes care of collecting and paying out the royalties.

Does this sound like the future of textbooks to you?



    NEWER POST

    Trashy Travels Highlights Baltimore's Cinematic Side

    OLDER POST

    Charitably Chic: Shop to Give

    Recent Comments

    Joe
    Fed Hill Restaurant Association Launches Social Media Campaign Against Panhandlers

    "Why is this a Federal Hill problem? I've been harassed all around town with this...

    Anne
    Maryland Drugged Driving Fatalities on the Rise

    "How many of those fatalities were just THC positive vs. having other drugs (opiates,...

    Andrew
    Maryland Drugged Driving Fatalities on the Rise

    "According to the article roughly 14% of the drivers tested (does not say what percentage...

    Michael
    A Year Later, Stabbing Death in Roland Park Remains a Mystery

    "What about the dogs? Has anyone looked into the motive that the dogs were taken for...

    Planetmom
    A Year Later, Stabbing Death in Roland Park Remains a Mystery

    "So sad this case is still open. Thanks for the update