Student voices needed: How much did you pay for textbooks this semester?

February 1, 2018

VCU Libraries wants to hear from students about their experiences and opinions about textbook costs.

Students visiting James Branch Cabell Library on the Monroe Park Campus and Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences on the MCV Campus during the week of Feb. 5 will have a chance to answer two questions on whiteboards near the library entrances: How much did you spend on textbooks this semester? What’s the highest amount you’ve ever paid for one textbook? Students will draw a dot on the whiteboards to represent their spending, creating a visual map of VCU student textbook costs.

Textbook prices have been steadily increasing for years, and for many students, these costs damage their chances for academic success. A 2016 survey of more than 20,000 college students revealed that textbook prices led to 67 percent of students not purchasing a required text, 26 percent dropping a class and 20 percent failing a course.

The main goals of this event are to raise awareness of textbook costs and potential solutions on campus, gather student feedback that will inform future efforts to lower textbook costs and let students know that VCU Libraries and the university are listening to their concerns.

Students can also participate online and share more thoughts about textbook costs at this feedback form. And, post to social media with the #TextbookBroke #VCU hashtags.

VCU Libraries offers support to faculty who are preparing or advocating for affordable course materials that will reduce students' textbook costs. Visit to learn more. Faculty are invited to apply for financial awards to help them develop these new, affordable materials by April 16.

< Previous  Next >