A new semester is exciting, but textbook prices aren’t. Students are spending an average of $1,200 a year on textbooks and course materials at public four-year colleges—and Boundless has said enough is enough.
All it takes is one trip to a college bookstore to see that today’s textbook market is broken. Textbooks remain the core content for most courses in higher education, but this market operates “cartel” style, meaning students have less choice in price and products for their own education. The textbook publishing market is an oligopoly, with over 80% of the textbook market controlled by the top 4 publishers: Pearson, Cengage, Wiley and McGraw-Hill.
This market was never designed to give students a choice. In the textbook cycle, publishers use aggressive sales tactics to acquire professors’ business. These professors then assign their students a textbook for class—and it’s the students who have to pay for the books. Students have little choice as to what book they use for class; many feel compelled to use the assigned text to get a good grade. They’re saddled with the high costs of textbooks from the bookstore or charged additional shipping fees when they order online.
Though students have long found ways to circumvent the skyrocketing costs of textbooks—not buying them, renting them, or even illegally downloading them—they shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality for cost.
At Boundless, we realized that the sad state of the textbook industry is especially startling when you consider the wealth of open content that has been created by leading educators and institutions. Top-tier universities, professors, and faculty have created amazing educational content, which has remained relatively disconnected from students—until now.
Boundless works with a team of subject experts, PhDs, and Masters students to curate the best open content into online textbooks with built-in learning technology. Our textbooks cover 20+ subjects and include learning technology that prompts you with study reminders at optimal points so you’ll retain all that important info (instead of forgetting it by tomorrow!). We offer this all for only $19.99 per book—no where near the $200 your campus bookstore might be charging. Plus, our textbooks are mobile optimized and available on a free iOS app, so you can study on the go!
Students at more than 2,000 colleges in the US are ditching their textbooks and going Boundless. Why not join them?