More Students Worried About Textbook Prices Than Debt

PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ Nearly 21 million students will head to college over the next two weeks, and more of them are concerned about textbook prices than student debt, according to a July 2017 survey.

The survey polled 720 current college students to find out what their concerns are heading into the 2017 fall semester:

  • Textbook prices (87.15%)
  • Student debt (83.19%)
  • Post-graduation career options (82.61%)
  • How to pay for school (80.25%)
  • How to pay for housing (56.61%)
  • Textbook availability (53.93%)
  • Safety and security (43.46%)
  • Social life (43.46%)
  • What to major in (25.43%)

Though 83 percent of students reported concerns about student debt, 30 percent admitted they do not know how much they'll owe post-graduation.

"Unfortunately, many students do not grasp the serious financial consequences of assuming student debt. The lifetime opportunity cost can approach a quarter of a million dollars," said Morgan MacArthur, Chief Technology Officer. "Textbooks are major contributors to student debt, averaging $5,000 per student over four years."

Textbooks are major expenses

Students have altered their textbook buying habits to combat soaring prices. According to the survey:

  • Nearly 68% say textbooks are the most difficult expenses to pay after tuition, room and board. Transportation is next at 21% and entertainment/going out at 11%
  • 56% of students primarily rent textbooks, 44% primarily buy
  • 58% feel renting textbooks offers greater value than buying
  • 90% of students use online bookstores for renting/buying textbooks, versus 7% campus bookstores and 3% off-campus bookstores
  • 70% do not intend to buy all books at the same store, 30% do
  • When done with textbooks, 51% sell online and 33% keep them for reference

Why do students buy textbooks online?

  • Better price: 94%
  • Greater convenience: 47%
  • Better selection: 38%
  • Quicker shopping: 23%

"Students are shopping online to save money; but even then, they're not always getting the lowest prices," said MacArthur. "They need to know there are cheaper options that can help them save up to 90 percent on textbooks."

Students can use, the world's most comprehensive textbook price comparison tool, to find the absolute cheapest prices for all their textbooks with a single search. The site additionally features a cash back program, a free guide to eliminating student debt and free student budget tool.

Compare textbook prices at

Since 2002, Direct Textbook has helped more than 20 million parents and students find the lowest prices on new, used, rental and ebook textbooks. Direct Textbook can be found online at

Media Contact:
Brian Morris
Communications Coordinator

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SOURCE More Students Worried About Textbook Prices Than Debt

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