Students can expect to pay less for textbooks
Gov. Bill Ritter set in stone Tuesday morning the College Textbook Affordability Act that is expected to provide relief for students’ pocketbooks when purchasing textbooks.
The bill is designed to help lower the cost of textbooks in Colorado.
The College Textbook Affordability Act, also known as Senate Bill 73, requires professors to know textbook prices before ordering books. The act also requires publishers to inform buyers of changes made to new edition textbooks.
The act also prohibits bundling of textbooks with other materials like CD-ROMs that often cause an increase in price. This gives student the choice of buying additional materials.
“This will allow bookstores to sell textbooks and supplemental materials separate or together,” said Laura Chapin with the State of Colorado Press Office.
Sophomore chemical engineering major Mark Flannery spent around $550 on three books this year. He said he feels the act will help lower text book prices.
“The supplemental CDs that are embedded in the textbooks probably add at least $30 to $40, and I’m not sure I’ve ever known anyone to use them anyways,” he said. “And knowing the differences in editions can save $40 to $50 if all the material hasn’t changed.”
Some students were unaware of the bill and others said they felt that online bookstores have created a market that bypasses local bookstores.
“I buy my books on Amazon Marketplace where books are much cheaper,” said Anna Hardman, a senior economics major. “I don’t think that local bookstores can compete with online prices. Local bookstores are still so expensive.”
The act is sponsored by state Sen. Ron Tupa of Boulder and state Rep. John Kefalas of Fort Collins. Kefalas was the house representative on the bill.
“I’m very pleased that (the act) will be signed into law by Gov. Ritter,” Kefalas said. “I was happy to be a part of the process.”
The bill was a collective effort of students and government officials with bipartisan support to create greater transparency on the part of publishers for students and faculty who buy textbooks.
Kefalas said the College Textbook Affordability Act is an example of why it is important for students to be involved in public policy.
Students of Colorado brought to attention the rising significant barrier that textbook costs have created for higher education, he said. The students then worked with legislatures to fix the problem.
“It does pay off for students to participate,” Kefalas said.
The law will take effect in August.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Brittany Sovine at Brittany.Sovine@colorado.edu.