College students are active consumers, with resources, interest and access to seek out a wide variety of services and products. The average amount students spent on course materials, including textbooks and digital materials, for post secondary programs declined 22% during the 2021-2022 academic year according to a new report by independent research firm Student Monitor. Student Monitor conducted one-on-one, hour-long, on campus interviews among 1,412 four-year, full-time undergraduates attending 94 representative colleges and universities.
The declining spending trend continues a decade long decrease according to the research firm, with student spending dropping a drastic 44% between2011-12 and 2021-22 academic years.
There are a few reasons for this decline in student spending. Course materials are more affordable and available now than ever before, commented Eric Weil, Managing Partner, Student Monitor. As well, “student spending dropped 22% during the most recent year, coming in at an average of just $314, in large part because Students are tailoring their purchases to the requirements of their individual courses, and taking full advantage of some of the new affordable options.”
During 2021-2022 the average student spent $314 on course materials; $101 for printed textbooks (new); $69 for printed textbooks (used); $47 for printed textbooks (rented); and $97 for eTextbooks, respectfully.
Publishers which work with post secondary institutions, have been striving to focus on both affordability and quality as of late. Kelly Denson, Vice President, Education Policy and Programs, AAP commented that “Even as student spending on course materials has declined during the past decade — dropping a substantial 44% — publishers have dramatically expanded their offerings, providing high-quality content and courseware within delivery models like Inclusive Access, and print rental in addition to other formats like digital, loose leaf print, custom solutions, and individual learning apps. The result gives both faculty and students the freedom and flexibility to choose the materials that work best for them.”
An avid book reader, Angela Waterfield is new to the world of e-Readers. She has a background in education, emergency response, fitness, and loves to be outside. She has contributed writing to The London Free Press, The Gazette, The Londoner, Lifeliner, and Citymedia.ca.