Students suffering from the financial burden of textbooks may soon feel relief.

Students suffering from the financial burden of textbooks may soon feel relief.
The relief is coming in the form of House Bill 226, which was introduced into Legislative session on Feb. 3. The bill, designed by the Students Advisory Committee, is meant to make textbooks more affordable to students.

‘The goal is to find ways to make college affordable, without costing the state,’ said Gabe Cronon, Student Government Association president and member of the student advisory committee.

The proposed bill will require that each book’s International Standard Book Number (ISBN), or identification number, be publicly posted, that publishers sell bundled textbook material separately and that companies publish the differences between editions of books. ‘

Posting the ISBN allows students to shop around for the book to get the best price. Students have done this in the past, but have had to go to a bookstore and hunt down the ISBN.’ ‘

By requiring publishers to sell bundled materials separately, textbooks would be packaged and sold separately from additional material, such as workbooks or Compact Discs. This allows’ students to buy the different materials at the cheapest price they can find. ‘

‘Currently, if I have a class that bundles four books together and my friend already has one they’re giving me I still have to buy the whole package,’ Cronon said.
In the final piece of the proposed bill, textbook companies would have to publish the differences between editions of books so that faculty can view the changes to determine if the students will need to buy a new edition.

The bill states that ‘some publishers’ packaging practices and lack of timeliness in textbook adoptions by postsecondary education faculty impact the textbook market contributing even more to the increasing costs to students.’

‘This bill is just a draft,’ said House Representative Carl Rollins. ‘This is the start and once we collect input from constituencies we will make changes.’

‘This will help my friends who shop for books on Amazon,’ said Josh Gordon, a senior entrepreneurship major. ‘

If the bill,which is in a 30-day legislative session, is passed each Kentucky public postsecondary institution will have to adopt the new policies.’ Ohio shot down a similar bill in 2007.

‘It is (the Student Advisory Committee’s) goal to make college transparent and affordable,’ Cronon said.