03:14 PM

College May be Expensive, but Textbook Costs are Down

It’s no secret that college is expensive. Students spend 39% to 67% of their overall yearly budget on tuition and fees alone, according to figures from the College Board. However, studies now show that students are spending less on course materials than previously.

Publishers and education companies are working to decrease college costs. Recent research from the National Association of College Stores found that students spent about $600 on course materials in the most recent school year, nearly $100 less than the average spent in 2007-2008.

Put into perspective, books and supplies are 2-5% of the overall budget for college students at four-year public and private schools (College Board). Students spent an average of $67 per textbook (NACS), but $367 per month on discretionary spending, according to independent research firm Student Monitor.

One reason for the trend is that publishers are offering students less expensive and more engaging options than traditional textbooks. Digital course materials use personalized learning technology to help improve student grades and increase retention by including more enhanced content.

For more information, visit the Association of American Publishers at aapbacktocampus.org.