Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Electronic Text Prices Shock Students; Publishing Companies Are Bundling Pass Codes to Web Sites with Books

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Electronic Text Prices Shock Students; Publishing Companies Are Bundling Pass Codes to Web Sites with Books

Article excerpt

Byline: GREG GELPI

AUGUSTA -- College students have another reason to grumble when buying textbooks -- pass codes.

Publishing companies are increasingly bundling textbooks with the passwords used to gain access to Web sites, said Karl Munschy, Augusta State University's director of business services. And sometimes, there is no textbook to accompany the pass code.

College of Education students, for instance, are forking over about $90 for LiveText, an online program that digitally creates a portfolio that follows them through their course work.

It's a "folded piece of paper," so it's hard for some students to understand the high cost, Munschy said.

Such pass codes are good for only one semester and once opened can't be returned, which makes it pricier for students, he said.

"Publishers love it, obviously," he said. "We're seeing it more and more all the time."

Students are learning, though, that bookstores aren't to blame, Munschy said. The bookstores are passing on the high prices established by the publishing companies.

"If we were here for a profit motive, it would be much more frustrating," he said of the campus bookstore.

Despite that, when Crystle Tollison thinks of textbooks, she hears "Cha-ching. …

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