College Book Costs Examined in Columbus

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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.

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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