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University’s $999 Online Textbook Sparks Outrage

University’s $999 Online Textbook Sparks Outrage

“The $999 pricing was not a glitch.”

The worst part is that you can’t exactly ‘resell’ an online textbook.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

Outrage Over University’s $999 Online Textbook

When Maddy Meaux, a sophomore at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, signed up for an introductory accounting course, she noticed something extraordinary. The online textbook for the course was listed at $999.

She took to Facebook and posted a screenshot on the “UL Ragin Cajuns Book Swap” group.

“Can anyone explain why the WileyPlus online code for ACCT 202 is $1000?” she asked.

Meaux’s fellow students were quick to react. They took to Twitter to voice their outrage, and soon after students and observers were accusing UL-Lafayette of scamming students.

“As a university, y’all should be absolutely ashamed,” said one tweeter. “Do you not understand that we are already drowning in debt from student loans to pay the high tuition?”

The textbook, Financial and Managerial Accounting, 3rd Edition, was customized by publisher Wiley for the Accounting 201 and 202 courses at UL-Lafayette and is a new addition to the courses this academic year.

The $999 pricing was not a glitch.

According to a statement from the university provost, faculty members in the accounting department wanted their students to have print textbooks so they could easily work through exercises in class without the use of laptops or tablets.

While students generally prefer using print textbooks to digital ones, digital textbooks are often a cheaper option for students struggling to make ends meet. Rather than simply not offering an online-only option, Wiley and the accounting department at UL-Lafayette worked together to discourage students from buying the ebook — setting the price astronomically high and making the print option seem like a relatively good value.


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And so how much is the print alternative?

Spoiled entitled brats, wanting everything at their convenience and on their terms… Buy the damn dead tree version and quit your bitching. And get off my lawn, while you’re at it!

When I attended school, my first quarter textbooks for 17 units of engineering curriculum cost…wait for it…$110.

Snopercod, that’s only because the dirt used in those clay tablets is cheap….

    snopercod in reply to NoFlow. | August 29, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Funny, but these were actual books. I have one of them right here, “University Physics” by Sears and Zemansky. 1028 pages long and the price was $20. I also still have “Elements of Materials Science” by Van Vlack. 445 pages and the price was $12.50. I tossed all my Calculus books.

I sold all of my engineering texts except for fluids, thermo, and machine design. I used the fluids and machine design a few years later in my PE exam, nobody wanted the thermo….

My mom had her college text books when I was a kid– if any of them had been over $50, we would’ve heard about it.

(And yes, they were awesome; focused on agriculture.)

Every publisher on the planet must have a Financial and Managerial Accounting. Wiley has one by Weygandt, Kimmel, and Kieso; print 3rd edition is about $200. A price which is also scandalous, but not impossible.

They have to jack the price of the electronic copy that high. If even one student can afford it, they’ll all have a copy in short order because it’ll get pirated.

faculty members in the accounting department wanted their students to have print textbooks so they could easily work through exercises in class without the use of laptops or tablets.

This makes zero sense. They’re going to be dragging their laptops & tablets along anyway, if only so they can keep up with FaceBook instead of falling asleep during lectures.

I no longer recollect what I spent on books around a half century ago, but I bought used when possible and hit the turn-in line at the bookstore asking for needed texts for less than the bookstore would have sold them and more than the bookstore would have paid the student.

Voice_of_Reason | August 30, 2018 at 4:52 pm

i assume it’s still easy to crack even password protected e-books and then distribute them. Hence the probable reason why the university doesn’t actually want to sell online books.

Nothing good ever happens when market forces are ignored (or legislated/ruled against). I wonder where the battle lines actually are in this case, and does follow the money apply?