In deciding which classes shell take every quarter, Alissa Ramberg often applies the textbook-cost-factor test: She figures out which professors require pricey textbooks, and avoids those classes.
The University of Washington senior and student-government senator, who is majoring in political science, has also put off taking classes and even chosen alternative courses that still fill the requirement to try to control how much she must shell out for books.
The price of college textbooks has risen at four times the rate of inflation in the past two decades, according to one study. Now, some Washington students are trying to gain some control over spiraling prices by asking professors to seek out less-expensive alternatives.
Last week, the UW Student Senate unanimously passed a resolution encouraging professors to consider using open textbooks free or low-cost online versions and other less-expensive materials.