Why Minnesota students will survey textbook-law compliance

Are we getting enough info on time?

The Minnesota State College Student Association (MSCSA) is working on a survey to see how well federal and state disclosure laws on textbook pricing are being carried out on two-year campuses.

You may remember that in January I I wrote about the results of another survey by the association and the state Office of Higher Education on students’ textbook habits and ways colleges could help lower costs.

That one does mention the legislation. The laws essentially require colleges to provide enough early information on the textbooks students will use so they can shop around for lower prices.

This survey will be focused on how well those laws are working at Minnesota’s two-year colleges, said MSCSA Associate Director Jessica Medearis. (MSCSA represents all students at community and technical colleges in the state.)

She told me:

“We continue to hear concerns from students about textbook prices and lack of e-book options. We’re just checking in on that (legislative) work to see what the next steps might be in the future.”

Association leaders helped draft the state’s 2007 Textbook Disclosure, Pricing, and Access Act, she said.

The project is apparently in the very early stages, she said, so she wasn’t sure when it’ll be carried out. She wrote on the association’s Web site that it could start “after school resumes in 2012.”

Textbook costs are a hot topic here, so I’m quite interested in seeing the results.