Ella Meloy is tired of the high cost of textbooks after signing up for the course. Therefore, in May, students from the University of Oregon testified before the State House of Representatives Education Committee, condemning the lack of transparency in textbook prices, and urged the passage of House Bill 2919, which requires public colleges and universities to inform students of these fees before then. register.

“This bill will enable students to better plan to pay for higher education,” Meloi said in the committee testimony“These hidden costs are equity issues.”

In June, Governor Kate Brown signed the bill into law. Now, starting from the 2022-23 school year, Oregon public agencies will need to “highlight” at least 75% of the estimated cost of credit course materials when students register for courses.

Meloy is now the junior and vice chairman of the Senate of the University of Oregon Student Union. She said she is very happy that the law passed and hopes that it will ease some of the financial burden on students.

“For me, a big part of supporting this bill is the hope that if all textbooks and fees must be transparent, it will help professors choose lower-cost textbooks and incentivize courses to be more accessible,” Melois Say.

A spokesperson for the University of Oregon said the agency is working to update its website to ensure compliance with the law by next fall.

The American Publishers Association, which represents American publishers of books, periodicals, and education, welcomed the news.

“AAP supports such legislation because we believe that when universities provide clarity and visibility about costs, students will benefit, and because we are firmly committed to the affordability of course materials,” said Maria A., President and CEO of AAP. Pallante said a statement.

On average, students spend US$186 on textbooks and course materials in the fall of 2020, which is lower than the US$199 in the fall of last year. According to data from the research company Student Monitor.

Palant’s statement stated that “affordability has always been the primary consideration for higher education publishers,” and due to digital products, students’ spending on textbooks has decreased.However, some critics of digital textbooks say that digital products and Netflix-style subscription services Increase publisher control over the market.

Since the mid-2010s, major education publishers including Pearson, Cengage, and McGraw-Hill Education have reported that “Inclusive” textbook projectMany institutions are now registering for entire classes of students to automatically receive digital course materials at discounted prices instead of purchasing them separately. Cengage, a global education technology company, switched to a subscription model called Cengage Unlimited in 2018, saying that its priority is student affordability.

“We clearly hear that the biggest problem is the affordability of course materials,” said Kristina Massari, Cengage’s director of public and media relations. “You can have the best materials in the world. But if students can’t afford it, then you really can’t help anyone.”

with Cengage unlimited, Students can instantly access e-textbooks for a fixed fee within four months. Naim Khoury, senior vice president of strategy and finance at Cengage US Higher Education, said that students are “very satisfied” with Cengage’s subscription service because they have access to textbooks and other course materials.

“Some students access many resources at the same time,” Khoury said. “In addition, there are some learning tools, so they can also get flash cards and career advice on the platform.”

In order to help alleviate the financial pressure on students, some universities have indicated that they will provide textbooks and other course materials for free.North Carolina A&T State University Announced in June It is using federal stimulus relief funds to purchase all course materials for undergraduates.

For Oregon, the new textbook calligraphy is part of a broader initiative aimed at making higher education costs more transparent to students. In June, Brown signed HB 2542, The legislation will require public colleges and universities to “highlight” the cost and description of mandatory student fees. The law takes effect this school year. A spokesperson for the University of Oregon said the agency will comply with the legislation by September 1. A Portland State University spokesperson said the institution “fully supports the transparency of student payment.”

Meloy sees textbook calligraphy as an important first step in reducing the hidden costs of students in public institutions.

“This is just a stepping stone to make higher education in Oregon more affordable, but I think it’s on the right track now,” she said. “For students who continue to go to school, this will help us with financial planning so that we don’t have to pay the $400 textbook fee after we have already paid tuition, miscellaneous fees and tried to pay the rent.”

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