No one likes rising textbook prices, but the bills may be even more painful to pay when it looks like a professor is cashing in on students. That's the sentiment at George Mason University, where students are grumbling about a professor who requires students to buy a book she helped to write, highlighting an ongoing debate about faculty profiting off their pupils.
One of the most revolutionary things about the Internet is its ability to make physical distances inconsequential. But with students nationwide still reluctant to embrace e-textbooks, the usefulness of the Web in acquiring learning materials remains limited. Especially if you go to college in Alaska.
Most conversations about dramatically reducing the amount colleges and students spend on textbooks center on e-books as cheaper, nimbler, and more era-appropriate alternatives to the dead-tree doorstops that students have been hauling around campuses since time immemorial.
But Rio Salado College, a mostly online community college in Arizona, has taken a different tack: using the same printed textbooks in all sections of each course. And so far, it reports substantial savings for students and few complaints from faculty.
With students, parents and politicians all frustrated by high textbook costs, recent years have seen many innovations as well as state and federal legislation. Much of the latter has focused on requirements that involve providing information so students and professors can make sound choices.