Rutgers launches program aimed at lowering cost of textbooks - News - NorthJersey.com
page_amanda's bookmarks 2016-02-04
"Rutgers University announced on Wednesday the launching of a pilot program aimed at stanching the high cost of textbooks by encouraging professors to opt for assigning materials that are significantly lower in cost or even free. A $12,000 competitive grant program will be available to teachers who tap what are known as “open source” materials for their classes, meaning they are available apart from traditional textbook companies whose copyrighted materials can be very costly. Students spend an average of $1,200 a semester on textbooks nationally and $1,500 at Rutgers, said Kaitlyn Vitez, a staffer with the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group at Rutgers, a student advocacy group that pushed the university to address the issue. The figures come from a survey, released by the group on Wedenesday, of 5,000 students across the country, including 1,098 from New Jersey. Since 2006, the cost of a college textbook has increased by 73 percent — more than four times the rate of inflation. Today, individual textbooks often cost more than $200, sometimes as much as $400, according to the report, and more than a quarter of students said they had used financial aid to pay for textbooks. “This report makes one thing clear: we can’t afford to accept the status quo in college textbook publishing any longer,” Janelle Melecio, a student coordinator on the affordable textbooks campaign, said in a press release issued by the group."