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College Textbooks: Students Have Greater Access to Textbook Information

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Citation Edit

Government Accountability Office, College Textbooks: Students Have Greater Access to Textbook Information (GAO-13-368) (June 6, 2013) (full-text).

Overview Edit

The rising costs of postsecondary education present challenges to maintaining college affordability. Textbooks are an important factor students need to consider when calculating the overall cost of attending college. In an effort to ensure that faculty and students have sufficient information about textbooks, Congress included requirements in Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) concerning publisher and school disclosures, as well as publisher provision of individual course materials. HEOA directed the GAO to examine the implementation of the new textbook provisions.

This report addresses (1) the efforts publishers have made to provide textbook information to faculty and make bundled materials available for sale individually, and how these practices have informed faculty selection of course materials; and (2) the extent to which postsecondary schools have provided students and college bookstores access to textbook information, and what the resulting costs and benefits have been.

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