Textbook Cost Increase Higher Than Cost Of Living

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One thing I don’t need to tell you is that life ain’t cheap. Rent, insurance, gas prices and the cost of college may be overwhelming. You may even know that the cost of living has remained on a slight but steady increase for the last several decades.

For example, textbooks have risen by 82% since 2002. That’s more than the overall Consumer Price Index, which only rose 28% in that time.

This summer, Government Accountability Office, which is an oversight limb of Congress, found that the cost of college textbooks is increasing about 6% per year on average.

The National Center for Education Statistics, under the U.S. Department of Education, recently found that the in-state cost of community college went up 6% last year to an average of $3,131, while in-state 4-year colleges went up 5% to $8,655. And for private universities, it is even higher. 

That’s not even including housing. The total cost for tuition, room and board rose over 42% between 2001 and 2011 at public institutions and about 5% at private universities in the same time period. These figures clearly show that college is becoming more expensive than ever and most of that burden is being carried by students at public colleges and universities.

Additionally, as if that’s not bad enough, the vultures in the campus bookstores and publishing lobbies have worked hard to keep students paying more for textbooks.

Some students are so weighed down by the high price of college that a study from the National Survey of Student Engagement revealed that 1 in 4 students do not buy course materials such as textbooks because of prohibitive costs. 

BIGWORDS is here to make sure that you don’t have to go without the textbooks you need to succeed in college. On average, BIGWORDS can save students 90% of what they would normally pay for a book at the college bookstore. So, if the cost of books increased 82% in the past decade, that’s bringing the cost of your textbooks down below the 2002 prices.

BIGWORDS also gets students up to 85% of the value of their book back when they sell it. Not bad, huh? So while some people are working to drive up the prices of college textbooks, tuition, rent, etc., there are some of us out here working to help students pay less for an education.

The BIGWORDS Uber-bot isn’t the only one taking measures to lower costs for students. There are some other things going on that hope to lower the, both short and long-term, impacts on students and working families paying for higher education.

Just a few weeks ago, President signed a law that would lower student loan interest rates by tying them to the financial market, allowing the government to lend at lower rates, however when interest rates raise as the economy improves, this could have a negative impact on student borrowers. Hopefully, that doesn’t become the case.

Also, in 2008, Congress passed a law to lower the cost of textbooks. The Higher Education Opportunity Act (H.R. 4137) had a couple provisions that required publishers to “include price and revision information when marketing textbooks to professors”, hoping that by putting “price information on the table… professors can consider costs on behalf of students.” The bill also “asks colleges to inform students which textbooks they need a full semester early.”

These provisions that went into effect in July of 2010 should give students more time to check prices on BIGWORDS early to save extra on textbooks, which could otherwise cost more that $1,000 per year per student.

In the meantime, we’re going to keep fighting the powers that are inflating the cost of education while getting the best deal on college textbooks for students.

Matt Dellinger


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