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.