SAN DIEGO: While college tuition costs continue to increase, the cost of college textbooks is on the decline. Campusbooks.com, a leading textbook price comparison website that tracks eight million college textbooks, releases new college textbook purchasing data that reveals:
College textbook costs decreased 26% since January 2017, the first decline in years.
According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, textbook costs increased 88 percent between 2006 and 2016.
Textbook rental market shares nearly doubled due to more availability and less expensive options compared to new and used books.
eBook sales increased 95% as more offerings have become available and prices have dropped significantly, yet they only account for 5% of sales.
Validates continued trend that students prefer hard copy textbooks.
New and used book sales have decreased by nearly 20%.
The college textbook price decrease is primarily due to the increase of rentals which are typically less expensive - a large factor for students who are often taking out student loans as a result of increased tuition costs, says Alex Neal, CEO of CampusBooks. Textbook rentals have nearly doubled in the last three years due to widespread awareness and acceptance, and there are more books available to rent.
Campusbooks.com estimates that the rental market will account for more than 35% of sales for this year's fall semester. Rentals are the lowest cost option and often the fastest alternative but do not provide options for students to buy and sell back copies for extra cash, which in today's growing college debt community is a missed opportunity. CampusBooks.com's Buy Vs. Rent tool takes the guesswork out of buying vs. renting textbooks and can help students save up to 90%. The site compares the cost of each textbook so students can decide if buying or renting makes more financial sense.
Another factor of the textbook pricing decline is the increase in open textbooks. According to the popular economics blog Carpe Diem, We can expect future declines in the prices of college textbooks, as the traditional textbook market faces increasingly tough competition from alternative options including hundreds of 'open textbooks' that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed.
The data is based on nearly 500,000 student textbook purchases at CampusBooks.com from August 2016 (fall semester) to January 2019 (spring semester). During that time, nearly 750,000 students visited CampusBooks to research and compare prices about textbook options.
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