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Home News Textbook Prices See Major Increase in Past Ten Years

by Abigail Wisniewski


In a survey of approximately 5,000 students, a California public interest research group has reported a nearly 73% price increase in college textbooks in the past 10 years.  These increases have resulted in nearly $3 billion of financial aid being spent on textbooks each year.

The impact of this price increase is not limited to students in California, but to Concordia students as well.

Concordia students are able to purchase textbooks from the Bulldog bookstore, where a new textbook costs an average of $112 or around $58 used.

Though books can be bought back, the sell-back price is usually less than the original cost.

“The most heavily weighted factors depend on if the book will be used in the next semester and if the book is a current edition,” Annika Uden, manager of the Concordia bookstore said via email. “If a student sells back a current edition of a text that will be used on campus in the next term, they will see the highest sell back value.”

Uden suggests that students rent books they don’t intend to keep, which could save them around 65% of a textbook’s cost.  

One means of combatting the rising price of textbooks suggested by CALPIRG is through openly licensed textbooks.

“In direct contrast to traditional publishers who strictly control every facet of access and use of their textbooks… open textbooks are available for free online, are free to download, and are affordable in print,” CALPIRG student representative Kelly Jiang said.

The bookstore has taken steps to help alleviate the cost of textbooks for students. In addition to providing price matching for reputable outside sources, the bookstore has some texts available online, which can be 40-60% cheaper. They also have used textbooks available unless an instructor specifically requests a new textbook.

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