Updates

Required Reading

Over the last three years, research conducted by the Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) and others have shown that textbooks are a growing cost of going to college. These studies also have found that the textbook industry is using a host of practices that drive up the price of college textbooks. In the fall of 2006, we interviewed faculty members, walked through bookstores and interviewed bookstore staff to uncover textbooks that reveal six types of textbook industry gimmicks. (October 2006)

Government Report Finds Textbook Costs Still Skyrocketing

The Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, which advises the Department of Education and Congress on student financial aid policy, has completed a yearlong report to Congress on potential solutions to the problem of skyrocketing college textbook prices.

Washington Governor Signs College Textbook Transparency Act

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.

Exposing the Textbook Industry

Today’s college students are under enormous financial pressure. The gap between tuition and fees and financial aid leaves many students working long hours through college, struggling to make ends meet, and graduating with large debts. The high cost of textbooks is yet another financial burden. MASSPIRG conducted a survey of 287 professors from a variety of disciplines at Massachusetts colleges and universities over the fall semester of 2006 to get their views on textbook industry practices that drive up prices. (February 2007)

Bringing the Message to Congress

Previous to the huge and historic passage of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 in September 2007, students were hard at work to make college afffordable.

Passing the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007

After Senators and members of Congress returned from August recess, students and student advocates were hopeful that both chambers had hammered out a new and final policy to help solve the problem of deep student loan debt. The process unfolded quickly – within two days, the House and Senate Education committees pulled together a joint press event with the Student PIRGs and coalition partners to announce final passage of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007.