The National Association of College Stores (NACS) says the average college student will spend $655 on textbooks each year, but with a single textbook easily costing as much as $300, that total can easily be much higher. In fact, the College Board puts the annual cost of books and materials at $1,168.
What do students have to say? Is the emergence of Open Educational Resources (OER) lowering costs. Textbook price comparison website Cheap-Textbooks.com recently ran a twitter poll asking students what their total spend was this semester. The majority of respondents (66%) were in the $600 or higher camp. It was interesting that there were responders (33%) in the sub $300 total. In my opinion this shows the OER free or low-cost textbooks are starting to become visible as students drastically cut their total textbook spend.