- The New York Times reports on the growing costs associated with digital textbooks and learning materials, specifically access codes for tests and homework assignments.
- A new survey of 10 colleges and universities shows the average access code, which sometimes are only found in purchased textbooks, costs $100 alone, increasing by only $26 when offered with a traditional text.
- The average annual amount students spend on materials has declined by $100 since 2008, to about $602.
The real savings for learning materials are delivered by faculty, and their choice in using certain tests and responsive options offered by publishers with specific texts. These resources are commonly found in science and humanities core offerings that a majority of students must take for general requirements, but academic leaders can audit each of these courses to determine how to best pass savings on to students.
Considering that many states, and the federal government, are holding schools accountable for helping reduce total student costs, and recognizing the contemporary college bookstore model is changing under the new forms of technology, it makes sense for institutions to be more aggressive in challenging professors to match curriculum with cloud-based or open source resources for affordable learning access.