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College Book Costs Examined in Columbus

Monday, April 28, 2008 at 6:14 AM

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Educators will meet in Columbus Tuesday to find ways to reduce the cost of college textbooks. The Ohio Board of Regents symposium will include a presentation from Baldwin Wallace College that proposes to eliminate the need for some print books altogether. ideastream's Kymberli Hagelberg has details.

Educators will meet in Columbus Tuesday to find ways to reduce the cost of college textbooks. The Ohio Board of Regents symposium will include a presentation from Baldwin Wallace College that proposes to eliminate the need for some print books altogether. ideastream’s Kymberli Hagelberg has details.

The average student spends $400 to $600 each semester on required textbooks at Baldwin Wallace—far too much in the opinion of bookstore director George Schiller. He’s developed a partial solution. Depending on the type of permission obtained from the publisher, Schiller offers “e-course packs” available only on the Internet for a limited time or compilation print texts. A custom text for the school’s Liberal Arts and Sciences course reduces the cost of the book from $250 to 60 dollars.

Schiller: “There’s always the concern that there’s waste in a book. Why do I have to buy a 28-chapter book when I only need three or four chapters.”

The issue of college book costs is controversial, even contentious for competing interests. Schiller will share his ideas on a panel at Columbus State Community College sparked by a pledge by Chancellor Eric Fingerhut to cut book costs by 50 percent.

Kymberli Hagelberg, 90.3

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