More and more publishers are migrating to books online saving students and other readers a lot of money. Traditional University text books cost well over $100. I went to school for Apparel Design and even buying used books, I spent thousands of $ each semester. Potentially I could have shared a book with some classmates, but some classes required books be brought to each session and assignments were derived from the material.

An article on expresses the savings opportunity and shift in technology use by readers; “Price differences for e-books vary depending on publisher and demand. At a Northwestern University bookstore, a new printed microeconomics textbook costs 94 dollars while its digital alternative is more than 30 percent cheaper at 62 dollars. Currently textbooks in prints still dominate the market, but statistics collected by the Pew Research Center, a Washington based think tank, indicate the market is poised for a digital textbook revolution. According to Pew's recent study on tablet ownership, the share of adults in the US owning tablets or e-book devices nearly doubled from 10 percent to 19 percent from November to mid-December last year and bumped up again to 29 percent in mid-January this year.”

When I was in college, we did not have the option of printing our materials out of the text book for a small one-time fee. Not only would this have saved me money, but it would have been extremely Eco-friendly to not print the entire book…some books being 1,000+ pages. Homework assignments could be printed off when needed or just looked at online, then completed. Students have the opportunity to bring their laptop or tablet devices to class as well…a one stop shop for note taking and reading.

Universities are working with publishers to encourage this change that will result in lower overall costs for students and more effective learning options. Mary Beth Marklein states in USA Today, “In a plan funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other non-profit groups, Rice University this month announced it will provide free online textbooks for five of the nation's most-attended college courses. Rice officials estimate students in the USA could save $90 million over the next five years.”

I wish I was still in college when this opportunity was available and implemented. I think about all of the art supplies I could have purchased with the money I saved…well my parents saved!
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Leigh Merz

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