With School Approaching, affordabletextbooks.org Helps Students Save on Textbooks Today and Hopes to Organize Student/Teacher Efforts to Increase Future Savings

Share Article

affordabletextbooks.org helps students buy and sell new and used textbooks, find inexpensive generic course outlines to replace expensive textbooks, and find free Internet textbooks. Colleges can help by developing programs to loan and rent textbook, and by putting textbooks on library reserve. A proposed student/teacher organization plan will help increase future savings.

With school approaching, affordabletextbooks.org helps students save on textbooks today and hopes to organize student/teacher efforts to increase future savings. Students interested in saving money on new and used books should begin by reading Joey Young's Textbook Shopping List located in the Interesting Reading section of affordabletextbooks.org. Joey's buying experiences will be helpful. Using some of the eight Internet companies selling new and used textbooks listed in the Ways to Save section can help save money.

Some student learning styles make inexpensive generic course outlines like Schaum's Outlines, Collins College Outlines, Barron's The Easy Way and others affordable substitutes for generic courses such as accounting, economics, statistics, mathematics, history, psychology and biology. These books are available at college bookstores and on the Internet. Students should ask their teacher which outline is most appropriate. Quick Notes Course Outlines in accounting, economics, basic mathematics and statistics are free. Students may also ask their teacher to determine which free Internet textbook is appropriate. Many can be found at textbooksfree.org.

Many colleges are developing unique ideas to lower the cost of textbooks. Madison University buys textbooks and loans them to students. While this plan does not produce free textbooks as the University has to pay for them, it will keep cost down as textbooks becomes an expense item to be scrutinize by cost accountants who will provide incentives for teachers to be more economical. Some states are requiring their colleges to create incentives for teachers to lower the cost of textbooks.

The College of San Mateo Textbook Rental Program started with donations and is run through the bookstore. Students rent a $100 textbook for $25. Ohio State's Book Smarts plan puts a number of textbooks on reserve in the library. Kansas University graduate students have a textbook rental Web site. The problem with all these plans is they lower demand which will cause publishers to increase price even more to maintain profit. One reason textbook prices have increase drastically of late is that the used textbook market began cutting into publisher profits about fifteen years ago.

A well organized effort initiated by students could lower the cost of textbooks . Working through a student group such as the Student Senate, Business Club, and Interfraternity Council, a committee should be formed to consider the following:

1) Create an on-campus textbook exchange using free software from textswap.com or studentgov.com.
2) Choose a basic course (Accounting, Economics, Statistics, Psychology, Botany) where tested material is generic. Search the college bookstore or Amazon.com for generic outlines for this course. Ask a teacher of this course to advise the committee, choose the most appropriate generic outline, tie their course syllabus and tests to the outline, and list in on their syllabus as an appropriate textbook.
3) Solve the Testing Problem. Ask the advisor and the academic computing department to develop a computerized testing/grading mechanism. Once this is accomplished, the advisor will not be tied to a book publisher for free help with this immense task.
4) Those interested in replacing publisher textbooks with free Internet textbooks should visit textbooksfree.org.

Many organizations have joined the movement for affordable textbooks. U.S. PIRG is a federation of state PIRGs. Their educational efforts focus on affordable textbooks, student debt, and cutting lender subsidies. The Campus Activism Campaign also has many campaigns including one for affordable textbooks. MakeTextbooksAffordable.com is a coalition of Student PIRGs and Student Government Associations with many campaigns including one to reduce college textbook costs.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author


Walter Antoniotti
Visit website