UW System recommends policy managing textbook costs for students

A variety of measures to control textbook costs are being considered under a proposal to be reviewed by the UW System Board of Regents next week. According to national studies, the average estimated annual cost of college textbooks and supplies is about $1,100. Costs can be considerably less with rental programs. At the 11 UW campuses that now offer textbook rental programs – including seven of the 13 four-year UW institutions and four of the UW Colleges – students paid closer to $150.

The policy being considered by the Regents calls on UW campuses to:

• Develop a textbook calendar and “early adoption” program to enable students more time to shop for the best prices;
• Publish the retail price of required course materials with course schedules;
• Explore economically viable textbook rental programs for selected courses;
• Encourage “unbundled” versions of textbook and course materials;
• Use textbook editions for as long as possible, moving on to newer editions only when the educational content has substantially changed;
• Allow e-textbook purchases; and
• Encourage student-managed initiatives, such as textbook swaps.

For more, visit the UW System news site.

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