A Senate bill introduced Tuesday would have S.C. public colleges supply advice to students and professors on how to save money on textbooks.
New textbook prices increased by 82 percent between 2002-2012 -- nearly three times the rate of inflation, a U.S. Government Accountability Office report found.
The cost of a new textbook averaged $68 in 2012, up 21 percent over the previous five years, according to data from the National Association of College Stores. Students at four-year public colleges are expected to spend $1,225 on average for books and supplies this year, the College Board reported.
The bill -- sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Nikki Setzler, D-Lexington -- would require colleges to post whether a textbook is required or recommended and if students can use an alternate edition of the textbook. Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, is a co-sponsor.
Colleges also must provide guidance to students on how to save money on textbook purchases and offer assistance to faculty on the availability of less costly formats, including electronic versions of textbooks and portions of a textbook sold separately.
Schools also would have to conduct surveys with course evaluations on textbook satisfaction and use.
By 2016, the S.C. Commission on Higher Education would set textbook purchase guidelines for colleges and schools would need to designate a textbook coordinator if the bill passes.