Students are opting out of buying costly textbooks — how OERs fit in

About 85% of new college or university students had not purchased college textbooks by the first day of class or decided not to buy the textbooks at all, according to a new survey of students conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of VitalSource Technologies LLC. This was a 5% jump from a similar survey the year before.

  • About 91% of students who did not purchase the materials cited costs as the issue, and half of those students admitted that their grades went down because they did not have the necessary materials. Students also cited an interest in “inclusive access,” which involves incorporating the cost of digital classroom materials into the cost of tuition.
  • 88% of students believed that incorporating inclusive access would help their grades improve, in lieu of using traditional print resources and textbooks. 78% of students whose schools did not have such an initiative underway expressed hope their school would investigate bringing inclusive access to their campus
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