July 28, 2015 | by Kirk Bodick | in Textbook Affordability

The Dawn of the $400 Textbook and Helping College Students Fight These Costs

Mark Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan's Flint campus. CPI_1998_to_2014

Over the past few years, he has written a number of interesting articles tracking the alarming rise of college textbook prices.  His latest article, published this week, disects the era of $400 textbooks and lists the 15 most expensive textbooks at the University of Michigan-Flint.  Here’s the link.

In this article, Mr. Perry updates charts illustrating how the cost of college textbooks is outpacing the national Consumer Price Index as well as recreational book prices:

Also included is a price chart listing the top 15 most expensive textbooks at the University of Michigan-Flint. This had me thinking – I wonder how Akademos’ prices compared to the UM-Flint’s bookstore prices?  We conducted a price comparison of the article’s price chart against our published student prices on our TextbookX.com website and the results were dramatic per the chart below:


There was also significant savings on our used rental books -  $1,543.15 or 29%!

Rising textbook costs impact everyone in the academic chain:

  • Students - who can’t afford to pay for texts so they go without, impacting academic performance
  • Faculty - who have students come to class ill-prepared and slow down the teaching process
  • Administrators - who are fighting shrinking budgets and count on student success and bookstore sales in their funding formulas

Akademos’ Online Bookstore Services can partner with colleges and universities to provide innovative and unique solutions to help keep textbook costs low. We also provide services designed to provide tools for faculty to procure alternative lower cost course materials.

For example, one way faculty can fight this runaway textbook price train is by using Open Education Resources such as the OpenStax College books and customized CoursePacks that contain quality teaching content, yet are free or at a greatly reduced cost to students. 

Our free Textbook Adoption Tool (adoption.akademos.com) allows faculty to choose from over 2 million titles across 3,600 topics, makes it easy to compare different formats, includes an affordability index for each title, and provides the opportunity to easily discover open source content. This empowers faculty to make better-informed decisions about content and their impact on course material costs, while preserving academic freedom.

To learn more about expanding affordable textbook options for students, our online bookstore services for colleges and universities, and to see how the Akademos solution can work for your institution, register today for a personalized 1:1 consultation

Click here to register for a 1:1 consultation 

Textbook Affordability

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