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New Report Highlights Trends in High Textbook Costs and Impact of Student Success

For the first time, college and university students in the state of Florida are seeing textbook costs slightly trend lower, according to the Florida Virtual Campus' 2018 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey Report. This survey is the fourth in a series of reports starting in 2010 that highlights the impact high textbook costs have on college affordability, as well as college success and completion. 

“While the cost of textbooks and course materials continues to negatively impact student access, success, and completion, we are starting to see a small shift toward affordability,” said Dr. John Opper, executive director of Distance Learning and Student Services at FLVC. “While colleges and universities have made progress at reducing textbook costs, there is still more to do.”

This survey was conducted to help education leaders and policy makers form an understanding of student’s perceptions of how textbook and material costs are impacting their academic decisions and progress. According to the results students are reducing their textbook costs by a variety of means. In fact, students are more willing to rent print and digital textbooks than in previous years to help combat the rising costs of textbooks. 

“We hope this report will highlight the continuing struggles students are facing with the cost of textbooks,” said Opper. “With students using a variety of means to reduce their costs of textbooks, we have to continue to look for methods ourselves to lessen that burden in the first place. Over the past few years, our colleges and universities have engaged in a variety of efforts to address the problem and for the first time since we began this research, the student survey responses suggest a positive effort.”

In participation with the Florida Board of Governors and the Florida College System, the survey was completed by more than 21,000 public college and university students throughout the state of Florida. In this survey, students were asked to use their recent personal experiences to provide insight on how the cost of textbooks and course materials impact their education, purchasing behaviors, academic completion and success, and their use of financial aid to address these costs. 

For additional information and a full copy of the report, textbook affordability infographic, and executive summary visit us online at DLSS.FLVC.org