Online Learning Update

October 26, 2016

Online digital access codes are ‘the new, dangerous face of the textbook monopoly,’ study says

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

By Ally Johnson, Daily Pennsylvanian

Single-use online access codes for textbooks are making it difficult for students to save money on necessary materials for classes. In Sept. 2016, the Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) — independent statewide student organizations that work on issues like environmental protection, consumer protection and homelessness — published a report called “Access Denied” that called these access codes the “new, dangerous face of the textbook monopoly.” The report found that 20 percent of classes at private, four-year colleges require these codes and only 28 percent of access codes are offered at bookstores in an unbundled form. If codes are only offered in bundles, students must buy the code with other materials. The Student PIRGs found that the average cost of an unbundled access code was $100.24 when purchased at institutional bookstores.

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