Pricey Textbooks Spark Alternative Efforts
The New York Public Interest Group’s (NYPIRG) Syracuse chapter held an on-campus event surveying students on the cost of their textbooks. Students posed for photographs holding signs detailing the amount they spent on their semester course books – some up to $700. NYPIRG plans to send the photographs to NY congressman Jim Walsh in appeal for support of the College Opportunity and Affordability Act, which would reduce the cost of textbooks by allowing students to purchase individual materials instead of more expensive materials bundled with unnecessary accessories. The bill would also require textbook publishers to reveal pricing information to professors before they place orders. Elsewhere, students at SUNY Binghamton and Arizona State have taken an interest in Chegg, an Internet-based company that rents textbooks to students for a fraction of their wholesale price. Students are given the option to rent their books for either a full or half semester. When the rental period ends students have the option to extend their rental, buy the textbook, or mail the books back to Chegg.