This report evaluates cost-reducing options from the traditional textbook market - rentals, e-books and e-readers - andÂ open textbooksÂ as potential next steps to reduce the high cost of textbooks. Â The report finds that student attitudes toward digital textbooks and renting vary widely, and that any solution must accommodate many different preferences to extend the benefits to all students. Â Rentals, e-books and e-readers do not appeal to all students, and therefore cannot be long-term solutions. Â Open textbooks are a long-term solution, because they offer a range of affordable options including print copies, PDFs and free web-based versions that can reduce costs for all students. Â The report concludes that promoting new models like open textbooks should be the next step toward making textbooks affordable.
The report is based on a survey of 1,428 students from ten campuses and an analysis of prices for 100 textbooks from 10 common college courses.