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Average annual spending on college course materials fell to a decade low of $285 in the 2022–23 academic year, Student Watch found, according to a press release from the Association of American Publishers.

That marks a 57 percent decline since 2012–13.

“We’ve noticed a really consistent decrease in student course material spending over time,” said Lacey Wallace, research analyst for the National Association of College Stores, which produced the Student Watch report. “As the space shifts to digital, costs do decrease. A lot of inclusive-access programs are digital first.”

Inclusive access is a course material model designed to deliver to students all relevant course resources—including textbooks and digital materials—at the lowest market rate by the first day of classes.

The AAP cited a similar report from Student Monitor in May, which found that average student spending on course materials had dropped to $333—a 41 percent decrease from a decade ago.

A graph showing the dramatic decline in student spending on course materials over the past decade.

Association of American Publishers