to investigate prices of
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Over last six
years, college textbooks have risen 17 percent more than other books
SPRINGFIELD -- Gov.
Rod Blagojevich is calling on the Illinois Board of Higher Education
to immediately investigate why Illinois college students are forced
to pay outrageous amounts of money for their required reading.
College textbooks are significantly more expensive than regular
books. Recent studies have also shown that many students across the
country are paying more than $900 a year on college textbooks.
"Why are students and
their parents being slapped with enormous book bills when the tab
for pleasure reading is 17 percent cheaper? This sticker shock has
got to end because, if these prices keep rising, our students are
going to be forced out of the classroom. College is the time for our
young people to explore those subjects that spark their interest,
but that journey could come to a screeching halt due to what looks
like price gouging. Illinois already has done its part to make
college more affordable. Through legislation I signed last July,
tuition will be fixed for all students entering our nine public
universities this fall. The battle over these books has just begun,"
Gov. Blagojevich said.
Under terms of House
Bill 1118, beginning with the 2004-05 school year, first-year
Illinois students at each of the state's nine public universities
will have their annual tuition fixed at the same rate for four
continuous academic years, or longer if their selected degree
program requires additional years.
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column in this article]
According to the
National Association of College Stores, the wholesale price of a
college textbook has gone up 35 percent since 1998, which is 17
percent more than an ordinary book over the same period. The
wholesale price is the cost set by textbook publishers and does not
represent an increase by college bookstores. The average annual
increase over that period was 5.9 percent for college texts,
compared with an average annual increase of 3.1 percent for other
report by the
California Student Public Interest
Research Group highlighted a number of ways publishers are
driving up the cost of textbooks, including adding additional
materials that most faculty don't require while not giving students
the option to buy the books without the bundled materials and by
frequently putting new editions of textbooks on the market with few
changes but a higher price tag.
[News release from the governor's office]