In the late fall of 2009, USF faculty were surveyed about textbook affordability awareness and issues. Out of 424 requests, 356 faculty members completed the survey.

  • 97% are aware of the rising cost of textbooks, but only 80% consider cost when choosing a textbook
  • 58% indicated that $50 to $100 is an acceptable price for a textbook
  • 41% used earlier editions of textbooks in order for students to be able to purchase used copies at lower costs
  • 60% said they can submit textbook information to the bookstore 60 days prior to the first day of classes, yet only 13% met the deadline for Fall 2011
  • 72% say they have created course packs as a textbook alternative
  • 62% are interested in learning how to create open access (free) materials for their courses
  • 38% would be willing to author an open access textbook

TAP asked the faculty what they were doing to promote textbook affordability. Here are some responses:

  • I am working with a publisher to create an online course package with a subscription price of about $40 to $50
  • I use an online textbook that costs under $50 for my introductory class
  • I allow my students to use older editions of textbooks
  • I encourage the use of secondary source materials, such as journals (print or on-line) as teaching material, rather than textbooks

Faculty were asked to suggest methods for reducing textbook costs for students. Here are some responses:

  • Encourage student organizations to sponsor textbook exchanges
  • Make use of the library’s electronic collections to find current materials and books
  • Have the library initiate textbook loaner programs
  • Set up textbook exchange programs on Facebook
  • Utilize the library’s course reserve program
  • There is a need for pushing toward open access education and research materials

Finally, some faculty shared their more creative ideas:

  • Pressure publishers to stop making their profits off students
  • Go completely electronic
  • Confront publishers and boycott those who overcharge
  • The college bookstore should be non-profit
  • Force publishers to disclose textbooks costs to faculty without misleading information.
  • I think making faculty more aware of the problem is a good start