What students at 4-year MnSCU campuses say about textbooks

I thought I'd post this as a follow-up to my previous story on open textbooks. It highlights some of the options that student leaders at MnSCU's universities would like to explore.

I find the last two ideas -- loosening financial aid and tuition-payment restrictions to account for textbooks -- interesting. I'm hoping to follow up on a few of the tidbits in the report later on.

The material below comes straight from the report:

Recommendations for Further Study:

  • The potential for expanded use of free or low-cost alternatives to traditional textbooks (ex. Open Source Textbooks)

  • How to communicate the impact of textbook prices to decision makers and encourage consideration of cost when textbooks are chosen

  • Evaluation of possible pilot programs that significantly reduce textbook costs for students

  • How to communicate possible role of e-textbooks in the classroom

  • Review book bundling practices and how unnecessary related costs can be avoided, as well as evaluating connection of homework sites only to the purchase of new textbooks

  • Evaluation of current model of individual campus bookstores and how cost savings could be achieved with systemwide approaches

  • Whether changes could be made in textbook "buyback" processes at campus bookstores to provide better payoff for students

  • How to ensure that textbook information is available as early as possible for students

  • How financial aid could be made available for purchase of textbooks outside of campus bookstores

  • Exploring the possibility of allowing all students (whether financial aid recipients or not) to charge textbooks at the campus bookstore to their campus account (enabling them to add it to their tuition payment plan)

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