The College Post
The College Post -- Covering Higher Education in America

College Students Expected to Save $60 Million in Textbook Costs

An education and technology company is expecting college students to save at least $60 million this academic year by switching over to a comprehensive subscription service.

Cengage, which provides course materials to college students, unveiled the subscription service in August and is providing access to more than 22,000 digital course materials, study guides, eBooks among others.

“In launching Cengage Unlimited, we made a bold move to offer a subscription service in an industry that has historically been loath to change,” said Michael Hansen, CEO of Cengage.

“It is exceedingly rare that an incumbent rather than a start-up transforms an industry.  And yet, the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to Cengage Unlimited—from students, parents and faculty—underscores that our approach to lower students’ costs so they can afford to access quality learning was the right one.”

According to the Federal Register notice, textbook costs have seen a great surge in the past decade, with 88 percent rise in 2006-2016. The average cost increased to $1,263 for four-year college students and $1,458 for two–year schools in 2016-2017.

In October, University of California received a $4.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to develop free and open textbook on career-technical education (CTE) fields and high enrollment subjects like chemistry.

Rice University’s nonprofit publisher OpenStax and eleven colleges and universities across the country collaborated to save nearly $17.4 million on textbook and materials costs with the use of free learning materials available on OpenStax.

Prices of Textbooks Drop by More Than $10 in One Year