Group working to reduce costs of textbooks for Iowa college students
Written by Michelle Corless, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
IOWA CITY (KWWL) -
Sara Holm is a junior at the University of Iowa. She's paying her own way through school and is already $26,000 in debt. To help reduce the load after graduation, she's stopped buying some of her textbooks.
"I'm not as successful," said Holm. "I'm just simply not as successful as I could be if I had the textbook that I needed."
According to Iowa PIRG (Public Interest Research Group), the average University of Iowa student spends more than $1,000 a year on textbooks, a number that's increased 82% over the past decade.
That's why Holm was glad to hear at least one of her professors this semester would not be requiring an expensive book.
"I really like to get a lot of journal articles from credible sources and peer reviewed journals and many, many of those journals are accessible through our library system," said Maureen McCue, Adjunct Professor.
Holm is working with Iowa PIRG on a campaign to encourage more professors to use other resources. The organization wants to see people using open textbooks, a resource that provides certain books for free online with print versions costing around 80% less than a traditional textbook.
"Washington state has already put together a program that has made over 90 textbooks across disciplines as open-source online which professors here at the University of Iowa can take advantage of," said Sonia Ashe, Iowa Public Interest Research Group.
Reducing prices that much could help reduce debt for students like Holm.
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