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  • Survey Shows Students Opting Out of Buying Textbooks | INPIRG
    is exactly how open textbooks work Open textbooks save students 100 per student per course on average Through state programs like the Open Course Library in Washington and campus programs like the Open Education Resources OER Project at Tacoma Community College more and more open textbooks are becoming available The report calls on campuses and legislators to adopt their own open textbook initiatives The amount that students are spending on books and supplies topped out at 1 200 this year according to the College Board That s equivalent to fourteen percent of tuition at a four year public college and thirty nine percent of tuition at community college However the report notes that spending on books has risen more slowly over the past 5 years than previously and credits the increase in rental and used book options The report also notes that the federal provisions passed in 2008 to increase textbook price transparency are having some impact Students are able to see textbook prices during course registration and faculty can see individual book prices all of which can steer students toward used books and rentals Nonetheless the publishing industry continues to control the marketplace Student consumers are still captive to high costs as prices on new print versions of books determine prices for used books In order to actually turn the price curve downward models that operate outside of traditional publishing need to be brought to the marketplace Students can t afford to let the publishers call the shots on textbook prices anymore Sprague explained The report entitled Fixing the Broken Textbooks Market How Students Respond to High Textbook Costs and Demand Alternatives can be viewed on our website at www INPIRG org INPIRG is a statewide student funded and student directed public interest group that works on issues related

    Original URL path: http://inpirg.org/news/in/survey-shows-students-opting-out-buying-textbooks (2016-04-29)
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  • Putting a Dent in College Costs With Open-Source Textbooks | INPIRG
    and OpenStax College a foundation funded nonprofit affiliated with Rice University offers a dozen titles mainly focused on widely offered introductory courses with more in production Jennifer Swain 21 a student at South Florida State College said her instructor for a physics class used an open source textbook College Physics from OpenStax She likes that she can download it onto an app on her iPad that allows her to highlight sections of text just as she could in a traditional textbook but this one is free whereas a comparable hard copy physics text would cost about 250 A classmate Ashley Edmonson 24 said it s convenient to access the textbook from any device so she doesn t have to lug around another tome They re really hard to carry she said Students can also lease digital textbooks to avoid carrying a heavy backpack but students must pay for access which typically expires after a certain period of time David Ernst chief information officer at the University of Minnesota s College of Education and Human Development and the creator of the Open Textbook Library said professors busy with teaching and research responsibilities often don t know that quality open source textbooks are available He travels to universities giving presentations about the burden of textbook costs on students and how open source books can help afterward professors often adopt an open source text They re the ones who decide what books to use he said It s about awareness Here are some questions about textbook costs Q How can I find out if my school uses open source textbooks A You can ask the instructor if using an open source textbook is an option or check with your school library some schools participate in an open source network Ideally you should use the specific textbook your professor assigns But if you re really tight on cash you might ask if using a comparable open source book is acceptable said Nicole Allen director of Open Education at the Scholarly Publishing Academic Resources Coalition Q Are there any other lower cost options if an open source text isn t available A There are now many online textbook shopping sites available like Chegg com and Amazon so you can compare prices or see if there s a cheaper used version of a required book available A tool called Occupy the Bookstore available as an extension on the Chrome browser overlays on the website of some campus bookstore websites and shows you the price charged by other sellers for the same book Q How can I determine whether buying or renting traditional textbooks is a better deal A In general renting requires less cash upfront and can make sense if it s for a single semester course buying may be best if it s a yearlong course and may allow you to recoup some of your cost by selling it when you re done CampusBooks com an online textbook comparison site says it offers a rent

    Original URL path: http://inpirg.org/media/sp/putting-dent-college-costs-open-source-textbooks (2016-04-29)
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  • INPIRG mock wedding protests Citizens United | INPIRG
    Monsanto Correa said McDonald s sells genetically modified foods but also frequently lobbies in the government McDonald s spent more than 1 million on campaigning during the 2012 elections Correa said Gough said the wedding shows the absurdity of the Citizens United decision Citizens United v Federal Election Commission is a Supreme Court case from 2010 that prohibits the government from restricting corporate spending in political campaigns The decision granted many of the same rights to corporations as people were entitled to declaring corporate personhood Corporate personhood is a doctrine that s developed in our laws where corporations are allowed the rights that are afforded to people under the constitution and we re protesting it because corporations aren t people Coker said It s a big part of the corruption of our democratic system Bruce Neswick an associate professor of organ in the Jacobs School of Music stopped on his way through the IMU to take a photo with McDonald s and Monsanto and sign their petition I m just thrilled to see you guys involved and concerned and I m concerned too Neswick said I think part of the environmental demise of our planet is because of this food production About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments IU Chapter Get Involved Action Center Campaign Resources Start a PIRG Chapter Full Time Jobs Campus Internships Volunteer on Campus Campaigns 21st Century Transportation Affordable Higher Education Democracy Hunger and Homelessness Make Textbooks Affordable New Voters Project Stop Subsidizing Obesity Student Consumer Action Network Sustainable U Newsroom Latest Updates Blog News Releases PIRG in the News Reports Internships Work on important issues learn valuable skills get hands on experience and make a difference Get Info Students in Action Like Us Follow Us RSS Contact Media Hits by Campaign Campaign Against Hunger and

    Original URL path: http://inpirg.org/media/sp/inpirg-mock-wedding-protests-citizens-united (2016-04-29)
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  • Matthew Gouff and Sartak Neema: "Put a Label On It" | INPIRG
    Our Mission Accomplishments IU Chapter Get Involved Action Center Campaign Resources Start a PIRG Chapter Full Time Jobs Campus Internships Volunteer on Campus Campaigns 21st Century Transportation Affordable Higher Education Democracy Hunger and Homelessness Make Textbooks Affordable New Voters Project Stop Subsidizing Obesity Student Consumer Action Network Sustainable U Newsroom Latest Updates Blog News Releases PIRG in the News Reports Internships Work on important issues learn valuable skills get hands on experience and make a difference Get Info Students in Action Like Us Follow Us RSS Contact Media Hits by Campaign Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness Make Textbooks Affordable Affordable Higher Education Sustainable U Make Textbooks Affordable Make Textbooks Affordable 21st Century Transportation Student Consumer Action Network Newsroom Blog Media Hits News Releases Reports Resources Students in Action Student leaders educate the campus about income inequality during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week We collect petition signatures lots of them Hunger and Homelessness intern Roua Aboukhadijeh collecting interview footage on campus for a short film on poverty Students campaign for High Speed Rail Fast Trains ARE Cool Students volunteer at a local garden for the National Hunger Cleanup Volunteers wear the textbook mascot costumes to educate students about affordable textbook

    Original URL path: http://inpirg.org/media/in/matthew-gouff-and-sartak-neema-put-label-it (2016-04-29)
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  • INPIRG releases report on transportation trends at American universities | INPIRG
    get around including the IU Safe Ride Program ZipCar and the campus and city buses Bloomington mayor Mark Kruzan said these resources haven t been cheap The University has invested heavily in mass transit as well as in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and safety throughout campus he said in a press release IU leaders have instituted policies and practices such as creating its cutting edge Office of Sustainability and a myriad of other examples IU is making it easy for staff faculty and students to decrease vehicular dependence empowering everyone to make smarter choices Carmer said bigger communities would do well to observe and implement similar programs Universities act as an important laboratories testing what cities and suburbs can do in their own broader communities Carmer said Policy makers of the municipal state and federal level should shift resources to alternative transportation modes to meet the needs of the millennial generation She said millennials will put pressure on legislators to make the move The habits that people adopt in their younger years have a way of persisting as people grow older she said There s a generation of college graduates for whom it will be normal and desirable not to depend on a personal car About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments IU Chapter Get Involved Action Center Campaign Resources Start a PIRG Chapter Full Time Jobs Campus Internships Volunteer on Campus Campaigns 21st Century Transportation Affordable Higher Education Democracy Hunger and Homelessness Make Textbooks Affordable New Voters Project Stop Subsidizing Obesity Student Consumer Action Network Sustainable U Newsroom Latest Updates Blog News Releases PIRG in the News Reports Internships Work on important issues learn valuable skills get hands on experience and make a difference Get Info Students in Action Like Us Follow Us RSS Contact Media Hits by Campaign

    Original URL path: http://inpirg.org/media/in/inpirg-releases-report-transportation-trends-american-universities (2016-04-29)
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  • Fixing the Broken Textbook Market | INPIRG
    for their grade It is concerning that students are forced to forego assigned textbooks which are an essential aid in learning new material completing assignments and studying for exams because they are too expensive This also means that students are not only choosing not to purchase the materials they are assigned by their professor but they are knowingly accepting the risk of a lower grade to avoid paying for the textbook 2 High textbook costs can have a ripple effect on students other academic decisions Nearly half of all students surveyed said that the cost of textbooks impacted how many which classes they took each semester Students attend college seeking job preparation and or degree attainment Careful course selection is often necessary in order to yield the results that a student is seeking within the timeframe they are prepared to study It is especially concerning that this process may be being undermined by high textbook costs 3 Students want alternatives expressing support for textbooks that are available free online and buying a hard copy is optional 82 of students felt they would do significantly better in a course if the textbook was available free online and buying a hard copy was optional This is exactly how open textbooks are designed Not only is the open textbook an ideal alternative to a traditional textbook from a student point of view but it is the only product in the marketplace that can directly challenge the high prices that publishers charge for new editions These high prices which outpace inflation underpin the entire textbook marketplace and drive market conditions for other alternatives such as the used book and rental markets Conclusion Overall this study demonstrates that despite recent steps forward in the marketplace high textbook costs will continue to be a problem for students unless the cost of high priced new editions of college textbooks comes down Moreover the study demonstrates that students are ready for an alternative to traditional textbooks in their classrooms Open textbooks are the ideal model that student respondents felt would improve their classroom performance In addition to upfront student savings open textbooks can help reduce costs in the long run and drive real change in the market With free online versions and with optional purchase of a hard copy open textbooks give purchasing power back to the student removing the market failure that allows high prices for traditional textbooks while protecting the rights of faculty to assign the textbook they feel most appropriate In contrast options like rentals and e books offer no such fix to the market and allow prices to continue rising While the current supply of open textbooks is expanding quickly they still cover only a fraction of all college courses To introduce competition into the market and to make open textbooks a real alternative to traditional textbooks there needs to be more start up investment in the creation and development of open textbooks On many campuses faculty members have championed open textbooks but widespread

    Original URL path: http://inpirg.org/reports/in/fixing-broken-textbook-market (2016-04-29)
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  • Report: Capital One Most-Complained-About Credit Card Company in Indiana | INPIRG
    The median amount of monetary relief for credit card complaints was 128 Indiana ranks 46 nationally in complaints per 100 000 residents Consumers were most likely to complain about billing disputes 16 percent of complaints followed by difficulties with APR or interest rates 10 percent and trouble with identity theft fraud and embezzlement 7 percent Consumers disputed about 20 percent of the responses from credit card companies In addition to the complaint database the CFPB has numerous tools for making credit cards work better for consumers It enforces provisions of the 2009 Credit CARD Act that helps consumers avoid penalty fees and unfair interest rate increases And after a significant number of complaints about credit card add ons the CFPB s first enforcement actions in 2012 addressed these issues head on CFPB actions against Discover Capital One American Express Chase and GE Capital Retail credit cards have totaled over 800 million in refunds to consumers The report also highlighted several recommendations to the CFPB in order to improve the usefulness and accessibility of the database such as developing a mobile app version for smartphone users Most importantly the CFPB should analyze the data regularly and continue to hold companies responsible for deceptive practices The CFPB has taken great strides in holding credit card companies accountable said Sprague Thanks to its work with consumer complaints and enforcement actions the CFPB is getting results for credit card holders Hoosiers who have a dispute with their credit card company can also file a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General s Office by visiting www IndianaConsumer com or by calling 1 800 382 5516 Download the report Credit Cards Credit Woes The CFPB s Consumer Complaints Database Gets Real Results for Consumers This is the fourth in a series of five reports by INPIRG

    Original URL path: http://inpirg.org/news/in/report-capital-one-most-complained-about-credit-card-company-indiana (2016-04-29)
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  • Credit Cards, Consumer Complaints | INPIRG
    residents vary in their tendency to reach out to the CFPB Capital One was the most complained about credit card company in 43 states while Citibank was the most complained about company in six states and the District of Columbia Bank of America was the most complained about company in Alaska See Figure ES 3 Residents of Northeastern states are most likely to complain about their credit cards while consumers in the Midwest and South are least likely The District of Columbia had the most complaints per capita followed by Delaware Maryland New York New Jersey Florida Connecticut Massachusetts Virginia and Maine Figure ES 3 Capital One Is the Most Complained about Credit Card Company in 43 States Figure ES 4 Complaints about Credit Cards Vary by State The CFPB is making a significant difference for consumers facing difficulty with their credit card companies The CFPB has helped more than 7 300 consumers about three in 10 complainants to receive monetary compensation as a result of their credit card complaints See Figure ES 5 The median amount of monetary relief for consumers with credit card complaints through mid 2013 was 128 More than 2 000 additional consumers have had their complaints closed with some form of non monetary relief which includes actions such as altering account terms or fixing an incorrect submission of information to a credit bureau Figure ES 5 Nearly 40 Percent of Credit Card Customers Received Monetary or Non Monetary Relief After Complaining to the CFPB Credit card companies vary greatly in the degree to which they respond to consumer complaints with offers of monetary relief Nearly two out of every five complaints concerning GE Capital Retail resulted in monetary relief to the consumer while only about 20 percent of complaints concerning American Express did About 20 percent of responses from credit card companies were deemed unsatisfactory by consumers and were subjected to further dispute Of the 10 companies with the most overall complaints the company with the highest number of disputed responses was Capital One with 1 044 followed by Citibank and Bank of America See Table ES 1 These three credit card companies were also the three companies with the highest number of overall complaints Table ES 1 Companies Vary in the Degree to which Consumers Dispute their Responses to CFPB Complaints Rank Company Disputed Complaints Percentage of Complaints Disputed 1 Capital One 1 044 20 2 Citibank 954 21 3 Bank of America 712 21 4 JPMorgan Chase 634 20 5 Amex 426 26 6 GE Capital Retail 283 14 7 Discover 213 18 8 Wells Fargo 208 20 9 Barclays 158 21 10 U S Bancorp 129 23 Of the 10 companies with the most overall complaints the company with the greatest proportion of disputed responses was American Express Amex with just over a quarter of responses disputed Of these same companies GE Capital Retail had the lowest proportion of disputed responses at 14 percent The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau s Consumer Complaint

    Original URL path: http://inpirg.org/reports/in/credit-cards-consumer-complaints (2016-04-29)
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