CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- With increasing tuition rates and college costs, ballooning textbook prices impose additional burdens on students, especially those borrowing money to pay for school.
Since 2002, college textbook prices jumped up by 82 percent, while the Consumer Price Index, which measures overall inflation, rose by only 28 percent, a <I>USA Today<P> report pointed out.
The nonprofit National Association of College Stores conducted a survey in late 2012 and found that students spent an average of $662 a year on books and supplies. Other studies have higher estimates.
"College students and some of their professors are pushing back against ever-increasing textbook prices," the report said. Many professors are assigning less-expensive books and documents available on the internet.
Last spring, 34 percent of all college students illegally downloaded course readings from unauthorized websites, up from 20 percent in 2010, according to a survey conducted by the Book Industry Study Group, a trade association.
In the survey, 31 percent of students said they photocopied chapters from other students' textbooks this year, up from 21 percent in 2010.
The 2012 study by the non-profit National Survey of Student Engagement found that one of every four freshmen and one of every three seniors frequently did not purchase required academic materials because of high costs.