Are Online Access Codes the New Textbook Cost?

Digital Learning in Higher Ed

Are Online Access Codes the New Textbook Cost?

Sep 1, 2016

SAVE $ TO SPEND $: Just when college students thought they were saving money on textbooks, many of them are getting hit with expenses for digital courseware developed by publishing companies including McGraw Hill and Pearson. Students are paying for online access codes—typically between $80 and $155 per course—to complete coursework and submit assignments, according to Buzzfeed News.

The high price of textbooks has long been under fire, and students have cut costs by renting and sharing them, and purchasing used ones. Although digital coursework is significantly less expensive than many traditional textbooks, there’s little to no way to opt out of purchasing it.

Recognizing the burden that extra course expenses place on students, some schools are creating “zero-cost” degree programs that rely on open educational resources for the entirety of a student’s courses.


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