New textbook law gives students more pricing information

open textbook on pile of textbooks
open textbook on pile of textbooks

University students around the country have already filed back into their classrooms and have purchased their expensive textbooks. But there's a new federal policy regarding the prices of textbooks, and how students should know the prices for all their textbooks.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act Textbook Provision, which went into effect on July 1, allows for some transparency in textbook purchasing by allowing students to know textbook prices in advance and to search for better prices.

There are a couple key textbook provisions, but one of the major ones is that an institution of higher education must disclose the textbooks International Standard Book Number, also known as the ISBN, as well as the prices of the textbooks to students in some way.

As written in the provision, the institution must "(1) disclose, on the institution's Internet course schedule and in a manner of the institution's choosing, the International Standard Book Number and retail price information of required and recommended college textbooks and supplemental materials for each course listed in the institution's course schedule used for preregistration and registration purposes ..."