Textbook Spending Down

December 16, 2019

Average student spending on course materials and college textbooks continues to decline, according to new survey data from research firm Student Monitor.

Students reported spending an average of $205 on course materials in the fall semester of 2019, down from $265 in 2018. Spending has consistently declined over the past five years.

A preview of the research, which is due to be published in full in January, was shared by the Association of American Publishers last week. The Student Monitor research is the result of one-on-one interviews with 1,200 students at 93 colleges and universities.

The AAP attributed the decline in spending to the increased availability of lower-cost digital textbooks, rental programs, subscription deals and open educational resources.

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