On Tuesday, April 18 Information Services hosted a lunch presentation, Textbook Costs and Student Equity. We were thrilled to have over 20 faculty and staff attend.
The purpose of the lunch was threefold. First, we presented the results of the Fall 2022 student textbook survey in which we partnered with ten other liberal arts colleges to gain a better understanding of how students are impacted by the cost of textbooks and other required course materials. The presentation is included in this post, but a few major takeaways include:
- 40% of all students, 45% of first-generation and 48% of Pell grant recipient students reported that they did not purchase a required textbook due to its cost.
- 54% of all students receive support from their families to pay for textbooks, while only 34% of Pell grant recipient and 39% of first-generation students have family financial support for these costs.
- 19% of the students reported that they struggled academically because they did not have the book for a class.
- Nearly 10% dropped a course because of the cost of the books and 8% choose not to register for a specific course because of the cost.
- First-generation and Pell grant students are more likely to utilize the library and work additional hours to pay for books than other students.
The second purpose was to share the many ways that Information Services works to mitigate textbook costs through services and programs, such as course reserves, e-book purchasing, and Open Educational Resources grants. Finally, we led a discussion to learn how other departments and individuals are working to lessen the burden of textbook costs. For example, Margaret Bounds shared information about her office’s Textbook Lending program.
If you have questions about this presentation or how to decrease the burden of textbook cost, please reach out to Ariella McCaffrey or Jessica McCullough.
1 thought on “Textbook Costs and Student Equity”
Thank you for this important work. As the first-gen college graduate in my family, I remember the pain of deciding if I could afford a text. I knew I needed one, but the financial hardship of my time at college was difficult at best.
This semester I was able to find my book for the course I taught online and there were copies at the reference desk as well. Thank you for all of this work in this needed area. I was unable to attend this workshop but, not because I am not interested.