Last month, the Student Public Interest Research Groups, a non-profit lobby group, organized a Affordable Textbook Day of Action to oppose high textbook costs. To help “spread the word about textbook affordability solutions,” PIRGs representative Brien Dinella visited Georgetown last Thursday.
Dinella, a student at St. Nobert College who is studying at American University this semester, spent the day visiting Georgetown professors, prepared to educate them about textbook costs and affordable solutions.
“The professors are the demand,” Dinella said, “If they want change, publishers will listen.”
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As if pre-registering wasn’t hard enough, students now have another factor to consider. This one, however, is a long overdue necessity for those of us concerned about the rising costs of college.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act, passed in 2008, mandates that schools that receive federal financial assistance must provide textbook information—specifically which books will be used in a class and how much they cost—at the time of registration. The law went into effect on July 1, meaning Georgetown should see its effect during spring pre-registration next November.
In addition to encouraging universities to increase programs such as guaranteed buy-backs and electronic textbooks, the law even requires textbook publishers to offer faculty wholesale prices on the books they use.
We’re a bit skeptical as to how the new law will affect a school like Georgetown—where some students spend more money on alcohol each semester than they do on books—but nevertheless, we’re grateful for the increased transparency and the opportunity to tell the bookstore where to stick it.
h/t GW Hatchet
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