Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - June 24, 2019 


No military strikes, but President Trump sticks to tough talk against Iran. Also on our Monday rundown: Staying in jail may depend on where you live. Plus, summer is here – will national parks be ready?

Daily Newscasts

Report: Cost of Textbooks a Roadblock To Learning

PHOTO: Textbooks are one of the largest out-of-pocket expenses for college students, according to a new report which proposes cost-saving alternatives that could help students save and learn more. Photo courtesy of stockphotosforfree.com
PHOTO: Textbooks are one of the largest out-of-pocket expenses for college students, according to a new report which proposes cost-saving alternatives that could help students save and learn more. Photo courtesy of stockphotosforfree.com
January 28, 2014

ST. LOUIS - The rising cost of college tuition, room and board isn't the only financial obstacle to higher learning, according to a new report, which finds that soaring textbook prices are keeping some Missouri students from getting the most out of their college educations.

According to Ethan Senack, higher-education associate at the Public Interest Research Group, the average cost of a college textbook has risen 82 percent over the past decade, to nearly $200 per volume, and $1200 for books for a year.

"When students are doing their best to earn a degree within four years, they should be focused on taking the classes they need to earn their degree, not tapped out because they have to choose between a textbook and rent," Senack declared.

The report found that, despite the increased prevalence of rental programs, used books and e-books, 65 percent of students have opted out of purchasing a book for a class, with nearly all reporting they suffered academically as a result. The full report is available at MoPIRGFOUNDATION.org.

Senack said the good news is that students are ready for alternatives to the traditional textbook model. The report proposes more universities embrace the use of open textbooks, which are faculty-written and peer-reviewed, but published under an open license, and free for students to read online or download and print.

"There's a tremendous potential to save students money and give them the access they need to the textbooks they're required to buy for their course without breaking the bank," he said.

Open textbooks typically cost from $20 to $40 for the purchase of a hard copy.

Legislation to authorize grants for the creation and adaptation of more open textbooks has been introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House, but the bills face stiff objections from the traditional publishing industry and have not made it to the floor of either chamber.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MO