FaraciSPRINGFIELD - State Senator Paul Faraci advanced a measure through the Senate Higher Education Committee that requires public universities and community colleges to provide all necessary coursework materials for rental, free of charge.

“This legislation will help college students save money and increase accessibility to higher education,” said Faraci (D-Champaign). “Textbook costs can be a significant barrier for many students, and this initiative will help alleviate some of the financial burden.”

According to the College Board, the average student budget for college books and supplies during the 2020-2021 academic year was $1,298 at four-year public institutions. This cost can be substantial and is often overlooked when considering the overall cost of attending college. A survey by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that 65% of students decided not to buy a textbook because of the cost, and 94% of those students worried it would negatively affect their grade.

The initiative aims to increase accessibility and attainability in higher education by addressing the rising costs of textbooks, which can be a significant barrier for many students. To help alleviate this burden, many public universities and community colleges, such as SIU, already include free textbook rentals in their tuition and fee costs for all or high-need students. According to two recent studies, these more affordable course materials can deliver student cost savings of 29-35% annually.

“The price of textbooks should not be the reason why someone cannot attend college,” said Faraci. “Attending college too often carries a significant financial burden, and this legislation will help alleviate some of that burden for students.”

Senate Bill 1895 passed the Senate Higher Education Committee and Senator Faraci is committed to having ongoing discussions on the legislation to find the best path for implementation.