One of the great public shaming grounds of higher education right now is the usurious cost of textbooks. Libraries tend not to buy these books, as they change annually and at $100 – $200 a pop, just buying introductory texts for one discipline could bankrupt the year’s monograph budget. This means that students are stuck paying tremendous costs for their books every term, or else scrambling to share or borrow or find used (i.e. “out of date”) copies that they can photocopy, skim, and otherwise rifle to find what they need to learn basic chemistry or economics or literature.
So, thanks to reader Olga for drawing my eye to this recent op/ed piece in the NY Times about alternative textbook projects and the cash crunch for students. It’s good to see the media paying some attention to this issue outside of the silos of higher eduction. And very good to see that some legislation is starting to appear.