Student Spending on Course Materials Continues to Go Down

Published June 30, 2020


Student Watch and Student Monitor, two organizations who study how much students are spending on college course materials, have released their latest data, which show that student spending has continued to decrease. Students are spending less because there are many more affordable options for students, including rental, Inclusive Access and digital options like e-books and courseware like McGraw Hill Connect and ALEKS.

The Association for American Publishers (AAP) put this press release out last week about the latest findings: Student Spending on College Course Materials Continues Multi-Year Decline - AAP

AAP has also produced a video featuring representatives from Student Watch (which is produced by the National Association of College Stores) and Student Monitor discussing the trends they're seeing in their research.

Watch the video below:

AAP Video: Student Spending on College Course Materials Continues Multi-Year Decline from Cara Duckworth on Vimeo.

Here are some stats that show how student spending has gone down:

  • In the last six years, student spending on course materials has gone down by 35% according to Student Watch and 39% according to Student Monitor.
  • Students spent an average of $413 on course materials in the 2019-20 academic year. That's down from about $700 a decade ago, according to Student Watch.

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