Schools Forcing Students to Buy E-Textbooks Despite Increased Costs

According to a report in USA Today, some universities are forcing their students to buy e-textbooks despite that they cost more in some cases.

For instance, an organic chemistry e-textbook costs $100 when the print version only costs $15, according to the report.

Universities are pressing ahead, citing cost and efficiency:

Indiana University was the first college to pilot a program three years ago by making students buy the e-textbook in selected courses. Five more universities have adopted similar programs: University of California-Berkeley, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, University of Virginia and Cornell University.

In Indiana’s program, students are charged for the books through their bursar accounts, so they don’t have the option of not buying the book. This lets the university negotiate low prices with publishing companies.

An e-textbook through Indiana’s program costs about half as much as it would anywhere else, says Nik Osbourne, information technology chief of staff.

Some 9% of all textbook purchases are e-textbooks at this point, according to Student Monitor, a research organization that follows such trends.

Read more in USA Today.

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