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College Bookstores Have Been Able to Slightly Reduce Cost of Textbooks



By Catherine Groux
Posted August 01, 2012 09:29 AM

A new study shows students are spending less on textbooks than they were in the past.
A new study shows students are spending less on textbooks than they were in the past.
In recent years, colleges have strived to find various ways to reduce the amount of money students spend on textbooks. Some have adopted textbook rental programs, while others have given students additional e-book options. While many of these have been small, gradual shifts, a new study by OnCampus Research shows that colleges' strategies to reduce textbook costs have been working.

The study indicates that today, students estimate they spend about $655 each year on required course materials, down from $702 four years ago.

"This is terrific news for students, who continue to be pressured by the higher cost of attending college," said Charles Schmidt, director of public relations for the National Association of College Stores. "The steady decline in textbook spending indicates that the money-saving strategies college stores have implemented are working."

In order to further reduce the cost of their textbooks, Schmidt suggests students continue taking advantage of colleges' reduced-price materials. For example, they should aim to buy their books early, increasing their chances of finding used texts. Additionally, he said students should consider renting materials, which can slash the cost of textbooks by one-third to one-half.

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