The average community college student spends over $1200 annually on classroom textbooks. That means that students who complete their learning in two years will have spent close to a single-semester’s worth of their money on textbooks. Nearly two-thirds of students at some point have not bought a textbook because of the cost (and that too has taken a toll on most of their performances within thosecourses). Though many of us are not aware of the specific numbers, we implicitly know and witness the result of expensive textbooks in our classes.
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For many instructors, textbooks (and their often steep prices) are a necessary evil. Some will find ways of lessening the burden put on students by having copies available in the library for in-library use or allowing students to purchase earlier (and therefore, cheaper) editions. But in a given course section, we’re still likely generating hundreds if not thousands of dollars profit for publishers at our students’ expense.
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