The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

7 out of 10 Students Don't Buy Textbooks

In the November 29th article by Campus Technology, University of California, Riverside’s recent annual survey, “Undergraduate Experience Survey,” finds that seven out 10 students do not buy textbooks, instead they prefer to rent them, rely on faculty provided materials, or do without them completely.  According to the survey, 73% of students who respond to the survey postpone the purchase and 74% of students chose to skip buying them altogether.   The university’s Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Steven Brint, commissioned a report on the survey in order to show faculty that “students’ behavior with respect to textbook purchasing may be different than they think.”  “Ultimately, the survey results suggest that not all students are doing the required reading for their courses,” says Brint.

If this statistic is the same at other institutions, then perhaps the greatest competitor to textbook sales is actually the choice not to buy at all. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is this really surprising? Many classes I've taken, the "required" textbook was barely/never discussed in class. It might be a good reference material to clarify some topics, but unless homework comes straight from the book, why bother? Most professors put copies in the library, so students can still have access. It's ridiculous to pay $150 for a new book, barely use it, pass the class just fine, and then sell it back for $65. Also, professors listing the newest edition as "required", then stating in class, "The old edition is just fine, though." I haven't bought books from the school store for five semesters. Renting, used copies from Amazon, and international editions have saved me so much money.