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A survey by e-textbook provider VitalSource has found that 50 percent of students who delayed buying textbooks because of high prices saw their grades suffer as a result.

The survey, conducted by market research company Wakefield Research, asked 1000 students from four-year colleges in the US and Canada about their textbook buying habits. It found that 85 percent of students had delayed or avoided altogether purchasing textbooks for their courses, with 91 percent of these students citing cost as the reason. Half of the students said that their grades had been negatively impacted by their decision.

In a press release, Pep Carrera, chief operating officer of VitalSource, said; “In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the number of students who are forgoing course materials due to costs. This is alarming, but even more disturbing is the consequence this decision has on students’ grades.”

The survey also asked students about their attitude towards e-textbooks, and found that 88 percent felt they could earn better grades using interactive digital course materials that have features such as end-of-chaper quizzes and online notetaking compared to traditional print materials.