A Government Accountability Office report found that in the past two decades, college textbook prices have increased at twice the rate of inflation. In academic year 2003-04, students and their families spent more than $6 billion on new and used textbooks.
According to the GAO, the average estimated cost of books and supplies for a first-time, full-time student in 2003-04 was $898 at four-year public institutions. That amounted to about 26 percent of the cost of tuition and fees.
At two-year public institutions, where low-income students are more likely to pursue a degree program and tuition and fees are lower, the average estimated cost of books and supplies per first-time full-time student was $886, representing almost three-quarters of the cost of tuition and fees, according to the GAO report.
That, folks, is not chump change when you consider that so many students are already heavily borrowing to attend college. It's not unusual for one textbook to cost more than $100.
Since I still have 17 years before I will be attending college, books are likely to be a lot more expensive then. I'll have to keep on top of ways that I can reduce the costs of textbooks. Here are a few from the article: