The Cost of Education Must Include Textbook Costs

According to, the "textbook" market generates "$11 billion in revenue and $3 billion in profit a year."

   [source: on 17 January 2007]

   "The college textbook market has functioned as a near-perfect 
    monopoly. Consider: How often does someone have the authority 
    to order consumers to purchase a product with a limited number 
    of vendors? University professors have just that power, requiring 
    students to purchase particular books for their courses. The often 
    obscure titles must typically be purchased from the college bookstore, 
    which obtains them through special order. With limited competition, 
    at best, prices for new textbooks can easily climb to $100, and 
    have tripled since the mid 1980s

In BAB:: The Cost of Taking 3-Credit Math Classes at SCC, we calculated the cost to take either MAT082 or MAT102 at SCC during the spring 2007 semester approximated $336. The book cost $97 used. Buying a new book increased the total cost of the class to $369.

  1. 11 billion written as a whole number is _______________________.

  2. The new MAT082/MAT102 book cost $________ more than the used book.

  3. 97 is ______% of 336. [record answer to nearest hundredth]

  4. 3 billion is _______% of 11 billion. [record answer to nearest hundredth]


The Arizona Board of Regents had a task force to look into textbook costs and they have concluded that book costs for college students are too high.

The Tucson newspaper reported the following about books that come bundled with stuff in addition to the textbook.

   "On a 1-to-5 scale, students rated bundled items a '2' in 
    terms of use and value. Although 26% of faculty ordered 
    bundled texts, just 35% of that group used all the materials. 
    38% said the materials are not useful to students, and nearly 
    a third would have ordered just the textbook if that option 
    were available." Profs' slow book orders add to text costs, regents panel says

Creator: Gerald D. Thurman []
Created: 17 January 2007

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