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  • Congress Moves to Cut Textbook Costs in Landmark Bill | NJPIRG Student Chapters
    is more fair to students The key provision requires publishers to include price and revision information when marketing textbooks to professors This takes steps to counteract the fundamental economic flaw in the textbook market that allows prices to rise unchecked Unlike other products a third party professors decides which textbook the consumer students must buy Since professors assign the textbooks best for their courses students must purchase their books regardless of cost Student PIRG research found that publishers further exacerbate this problem by withholding price information from professors The bill reverses this problem by requiring publishers to put price information on the table so professors can consider costs on behalf of students The bill contains two additional provisions that give students more options as consumers First it requires publishers to sell all textbook bundles as individual books and supplemental materials PIRG research identified bundling as one of the main practices publishers use to drive up costs Second the bill asks colleges to inform students which textbooks they need a full semester early That way students will have time to shop around for the best deals The textbooks legislation was contained in the larger Higher Education Opportunity Act H R 4137 which passed today 380 49 in the House and 83 8 in the Senate The bill will now proceed to the President to be signed into law The textbooks provisions go into effect July 1 2010 To download a full analysis of the provision visit http www studentpirgs org resources textbook price disclosure law About the Student PIRGs The Student Public Interest Research Groups is a national network of non profit non partisan student advocacy groups that work on public interest issues pertaining to the environment consumer protection and government reform About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments How is

    Original URL path: http://njpirgstudents.org/news/congress-moves-cut-textbook-costs-landmark-bill (2016-04-29)
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  • Cutting Interest Rates, Lowering Student Debt - Updated | NJPIRG Student Chapters
    income students each year A new Income Based Repayment program that allows student loan borrowers to repay their federal loans as a percentage of their income Reductions in interest rates on subsidized Stafford student loans About 5 5 million students borrow subsidized Stafford loans every year Of those borrowers nearly 3 3 million attend four year public or private non profit institutions The vast majority of these borrowers come from low and middle income families According to the Congressional Research Service 75 of traditional aged borrowers with subsidized Stafford loans come from families with incomes below 67 374 The median income for an American family of four is 65 000 Cutting Interest Rates The College Cost Reduction and Access Act reduces interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans for undergraduates Loans originated during the next four years are set at fixed interest rates of 6 0 in 2008 2009 5 6 in 2009 2010 4 5 in 2010 2011 and 3 4 in 2011 2012 After graduation students can consolidate their loans into one loan at the weighted average of the interest rates of their various loans Interest rates are reset on July 1st for the following school year Findings Lower Interest Rates Will Save Students Thousands of Dollars By lowering interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans Congress saved college students thousands of dollars over the life of their loans We found The average four year college student starting school in 2008 with subsidized Stafford loans will save about 2 570 over the life of his or her loans The average savings for freshmen starting school in 2008 vary slightly from state to state ranging from 2 820 for a student in California to 2 340 for a student in West Virginia Table ES 1 About Us Our Leadership Our Mission

    Original URL path: http://njpirgstudents.org/reports/cutting-interest-rates-lowering-student-debt-updated (2016-04-29)
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  • Required Reading | NJPIRG Student Chapters
    a year regardless of whether or not the product has undergone any changes This claim needs further investigation Costly Bundles Our previous research found that half of all textbooks now come bundled or shrinkwrapped with supplementary materials such as workbooks and CD ROMS As of 2004 bundled textbooks cost 10 percent more on average than their unbundled counterparts We found examples of bundled books however that are considerably more expensive costing 46 to 48 percent more than the standard edition For example the bundled version of Pearson s International Economics costs 48 percent more than the unbundled version New Covers Old Content Zero Used Books Publishers frequently issue new editions of textbooks often with few substantive changes and even in subject areas like calculus and introductory physics that have not changed significantly in years Once a new edition is issued faculty and bookstores have little choice but to stop using the old edition The result is that the previous edition disappears from bookstore shelves almost overnight limiting the used textbook market We found two examples of new editions that faculty reviewers say lack substantive changes Thomson s Western Civilization 6th edition and Houghton Mifflin s Calculus with Analytic Geometry 7th edition Modern Bundles Resell Sabotage Bundling not only can increase the price of a textbook but also can undermine the used book market Textbooks increasingly come wrapped with one time use components such as one time passwords to websites with problem sets that prevent the entire book package from being resold at the end of a semester Pearson s bundled version of General Chemistry 9th edition is one example of a book with packaged components that eliminate buyback potential Low Cost Options that are Anything But Low Cost Publishers often claim that they offer lower cost options that are cheaper than the standard hardcover text McGraw Hill s Organic Chemistry 6th edition is one example of an allegedly low cost textbook that upon further examination actually has a higher net cost than the standard edition Customized to Limit the Used Book Market Publishers increasingly promote custom books which allow a professor to pick and choose the content he or she wishes to include in the class text While customization can potentially lower the cost of a textbook and create a more focused curriculum custom books also can undermine the used book market At the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign one professor tailored Houghton Mifflin s Psychology 7th edition so specifically for his course that his students will not be able to sell the book back Policy Recommendations Textbooks Should Be Priced and Sold at a Reasonable Cost to Students Publishers should work to keep the cost of producing their books and ancillary items as low as possible without sacrificing educational content Low cost alternatives should be true equivalents of their standard counterparts having equal usability completeness and quality of content When publishers sell textbooks bundled they should sell the same textbooks separately Faculty should give preference to the lowest

    Original URL path: http://njpirgstudents.org/reports/required-reading (2016-04-29)
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  • Exposing the Textbook Industry | NJPIRG Student Chapters
    research textbooks 77 told us that sales representatives rarely or never volunteer the price And even when professors directly asked for the price during a sales meeting only 38 reported that the sales representative would always disclose the price 2 Publishers need to provide unbundled alternatives to bundled textbooks and disclose the availability of these alternatives Bundling refers to the practice of shrink wrapping a textbook with additional materials such as CDs pass codes or workbooks Only 50 of the professors who told us that they assigned a bundled book last semester said that they used the additional materials often One third said that they either could not assign the book they chose without the bundle or did not know if that option was available This finding stands in contrast to the claims of many in the publishing industry that most of their books are available unbundled 3 Most professors we surveyed often find new editions unnecessary Of the professors we surveyed 71 said that new editions of textbooks in their field are justified only sometimes or rarely confirming earlier PIRG research Since new editions are on average 12 more expensive than the previous edition students are spending a lot of money for little educational gain New editions also hamper the used book market the most practical source for most students to access cheaper books Policy Recommendations Textbooks should be produced and priced to be as inexpensive as possible without sacrificing educational value New textbook editions should be produced only when educationally necessary each book should be kept on the market as long as possible with preference given to paper or online supplements over a whole new edition Faculty should have the option to purchase textbooks unbundled whenever a textbook is sold with additional materials it also should be available

    Original URL path: http://njpirgstudents.org/reports/exposing-textbook-industry (2016-04-29)
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  • Trouble in Toyland | NJPIRG Student Chapters
    currently on store shelves that pose potential safety hazards We ve also launched a mobile website with tips for safe toy shopping In 2008 Congress placed strict limits on concentrations of lead and phthalates in toys and children articles in a law that also gave greater authority and funding to the Consumer Product Safety Commission CPSC The CPSC has a new database of both potential hazards and recalled products The CPSC is doing a good job but it doesn t test all toys on the shelves The message of today is clear We cannot must not weaken the most basic safety rules that protect young children America s littlest consumers Our staff organized press events in Trenton Hackensack Asbury Park and Atlantic City We were joined by many guests including Congressman Rush Holt Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary O Dowd Deputy Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs Cindy Miller and the Lead Outreach Coordinator of the Monmouth County Health Department For the past 26 years NJPIRG has helped consumers make educated decisions about the more than 3 billion toys they purchase each year in the United States Despite recent strides in Congress to crack down on dangerous toys today s report proves that we must do more to keep our children safe as potentially harmful toys are still available on store shelves across the country At a time when too many in Washington are seeking to roll back basic public health and safety rules I thank NJ PIRG for their important work to ensure the safety of our children Congressman Rush Holt We were covered by News 12 Bergen Record Star Ledger NJ101 5 The Breeze ABC7 and My9 Check out some of our media hits Bergen Record With Holiday Season Approaching NJ Group Warns of Dangerous Toys

    Original URL path: http://njpirgstudents.org/blogs/nj/trouble-toyland (2016-04-29)
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  • NJPIRG | Together we can make change happen Student Chapters
    the Obama Administration for addressing the risks posed by nuclear power including instituting a moratorium on the relicensing of existing aging nuclear power plants and on the licensing of new nuclear reactors This report also calls for the elimination of federal loan guarantees and other subsidies for nuclear power plants More 12 05 2011 Report The Three Trillion Dollar Question What Health Care Reform Can Save For Families Businesses and Taxpayers Without health care reform the United States is projected to spend over 40 trillion on health care in the next decade Experts estimate that thirty percent of that spending up to 12 trillion dollars will be wasted on ineffective care pointless red tape and counterproductive treatments that can actually harm patients More Pages first previous 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 next last Visit Our Blog NJPIRG Homepage About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments How is NJPIRG funded Local Chapters Rutgers Camden Rutgers New Brunswick Rutgers Newark Get Involved Action Center Campaign Resources Start a PIRG Chapter Full Time Jobs Campus Internships Volunteer on Campus Campaigns Don t Get Ripped Off Don t Frack the Delaware Energy Service Corps Hunger and Homelessness Make Textbooks Affordable New Voters Project Stop Citizens United No Bees No Food Save ABX Newsroom Latest Updates Blog News Releases PIRG in the News Reports Search form Search Tweets by NJPIRGStudents Students in Action RSS Contact NJPIRG in Action DontFracktheD Get Involved Three million New Jerseyans get their drinking water from the Delaware Water Basin let s make sure the commission in charge of protecting the basin keeps fracking out So You Need Health Insurance Now What Get the Guide Having the facts can make all the difference when it comes to health insurance To make the most of new choices protections

    Original URL path: http://njpirgstudents.org/home?page=22 (2016-04-29)
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  • NJPIRG | Together we can make change happen Student Chapters
    Right Track America s highways and airports are increasingly congested Our nation s transportation system remains dependent on oil And our existing transportation infrastructure is inadequate to the demands of the 21st century The United States should build an efficient and fast passenger rail network with high speed rail as a central component to help address the nation s transportation challenges in the 21st century More Pages first previous 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 next last Visit Our Blog NJPIRG Homepage About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments How is NJPIRG funded Local Chapters Rutgers Camden Rutgers New Brunswick Rutgers Newark Get Involved Action Center Campaign Resources Start a PIRG Chapter Full Time Jobs Campus Internships Volunteer on Campus Campaigns Don t Get Ripped Off Don t Frack the Delaware Energy Service Corps Hunger and Homelessness Make Textbooks Affordable New Voters Project Stop Citizens United No Bees No Food Save ABX Newsroom Latest Updates Blog News Releases PIRG in the News Reports Search form Search Tweets by NJPIRGStudents Students in Action RSS Contact NJPIRG in Action DontFracktheD Get Involved Three million New Jerseyans get their drinking water from the Delaware Water Basin let s make sure the commission in charge of protecting the basin keeps fracking out So You Need Health Insurance Now What Get the Guide Having the facts can make all the difference when it comes to health insurance To make the most of new choices protections and financial help you need good information Our guide can help you find quality coverage that won t break the bank Intern with NJPIRG Learn more and apply As an NJPIRG intern you ll learn skills and get valuable experience working on a campaign You ll learn how to build teams of volunteers organize events on campus

    Original URL path: http://njpirgstudents.org/home?page=19 (2016-04-29)
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  • NJPIRG | Together we can make change happen Student Chapters
    his well qualified nominee Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau The CFPB can improve private student loans as well as credit cards and debit cards issued on campus More 01 02 2012 Blog Post Legacy of Protecting Public Health from Threat of Nuclear Power NJPIRG has a long legacy of protecting the public from the public health threats posed by nuclear power Nuclear power is inherently dangerous potentially catastrophic and a lousy investment for our country The Student PIRGs have worked for more than 30 years to protect public health and safety from the dangers posed by nuclear reactors and storage of nuclear waste In state after state we ve also worked to make sure that American consumers are protected from the enormous costs of building and operating nuclear power facilities More Pages first previous 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 next last Visit Our Blog NJPIRG Homepage About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments How is NJPIRG funded Local Chapters Rutgers Camden Rutgers New Brunswick Rutgers Newark Get Involved Action Center Campaign Resources Start a PIRG Chapter Full Time Jobs Campus Internships Volunteer on Campus Campaigns Don t Get Ripped Off Don t Frack the Delaware Energy Service Corps Hunger and Homelessness Make Textbooks Affordable New Voters Project Stop Citizens United No Bees No Food Save ABX Newsroom Latest Updates Blog News Releases PIRG in the News Reports Search form Search Tweets by NJPIRGStudents Students in Action RSS Contact NJPIRG in Action DontFracktheD Get Involved Three million New Jerseyans get their drinking water from the Delaware Water Basin let s make sure the commission in charge of protecting the basin keeps fracking out So You Need Health Insurance Now What Get the Guide Having the facts can make all the difference when

    Original URL path: http://njpirgstudents.org/home?page=20 (2016-04-29)
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