Minnesota State Representative King Banaian (R-St.Cloud) is sponsoring a bill that could help college students purchase cheaper textbooks. According to the press release, most students are not able to see a list of the textbooks they need for a course until they are already in the classroom and they may not discover the prices of the textbooks until even later. The proposed bill builds upon the provisions of the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act, which requires colleges and universities to disclose the retail prices and ISBNs of required or recommended textbooks for college courses, and emphasizes the need for student access to and awareness of this information before the beginning of a semester.
The bill would require all reading materials and their prices to be listed in course catalogs, allowing students to know the real cost of courses before they enroll. In addition, Banaian’s bill calls for the creation of a task force that will investigate ways to lower textbook prices for students.
If the bill passes, all state colleges and universities in Minnesota would be affected. The University of Minnesota, which is controlled by a board of regents, and private colleges within the state would not be required to abide by the bill, though it would encourage them to consider similar textbook policies.
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