According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average cost of all items sold in U.S. cities has increased by 60.8% since the year 2000. Over that same period of time, the average cost of educational books materials has increased by 273.3%.
Since 1967--when the Bureau began tracking the price of educational materials--the average cost of all items has increased 727.6%; by comparison, the average cost of educational books and materials has increased by 2,013.6%.
According to Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), the expected annual cost for textbooks is equal to 13% of the average annual tuition price at a public four-year college or university, and just five publishers--Cengage, Macmillan, McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Wiley--control 80% of the textbook market.
Based on the institutional budgets for students reported in the College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges, in-state, on-campus undergraduates at public, four-year institutions will spend an average of $1,240 on educational books and supplies in the 2021-21 academic year.