BOSTON, Mass. (August 26, 2010) — Students across the country are gearing up for sticker shock over textbook prices this semester. The average student spends $900 per year on textbooks, and new calculations by Alpha PIRG Students show that costs have increased at an astounding rate: textbook wholesale prices have risen more than four times the rate of inflation over the last two decades (1990-2009).
A groundbreaking federal law designed to tackle the rapidly rising cost of textbooks has kicked in just in time to impact college students this fall. The law, which was part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) passed by Congress in 2008, is considered the first major federal action on this issue.
Making Washington the first state to act in 2007 on the growing problem of college textbook prices, Governor Christine Gregoire signed a landmark measure this morning that will help lower the cost of textbooks for Washington college students. The law requires textbook publishing companies to disclose prices and change-of-edition information when marketing course materials to faculty in the state of Washington.