Undergraduate Student Perspectives on Textbook Costs and Implications for Academic Success

Lucinda Rush Wittkower, Leo S Lo


To provide more affordable course content to our students and faculty, local data on how students perceive textbook expenses and how the costs impact student success would be necessary in order to advocate to faculty and other stakeholders. This survey, conducted at a mid-sized research public institution, aims to explore student perceptions of textbooks and how these perceptions influence academic success. The results reveal that students feel that the cost of required textbooks is unreasonable and that students are more likely to purchase required textbooks for in-major classes than for elective or general education courses. The most common means of reducing costs are purchasing from a vendor other than the campus bookstore, renting, or sharing books with classmates. Implications for academic success included not purchasing required textbooks or withdrawing from a course due to not having the materials. Students whose majors are housed in the College of Business have the highest textbook costs.


Textbook costs; Affordable course content; OER, Undergraduate students; Academic Libraries

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.12.1.1036


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