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Dori Monson: College textbook industry is criminal

KIRO Radio's Dori Monson currently has three daughters in college and has some strong opinions about the cost of textbooks. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Some University of Washington students are urging the university to make textbooks more affordable.

KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson, a father of three girls currently in college, says they have good reason to.

“I’ll go to the University Bookstore with my daughter and see these books for $130, $150,” says Monson. “One prof recommends his buddy’s book as required reading and his buddy recommends his book as required reading, and it’s a criminal racketeering operation, the college textbook industry.”

A recent study reveals 65 percent of students opt out of buying textbooks because of the high cost.

The study finds students choose to forgo buying certain textbooks even if it means getting lower grades.

According to the research foundation WashPIRG, 82 percent of students believe they would do significantly better in a course if the textbook were free and online.

“It’s the open textbooks that we’re really trying to shoot for,” UW freshman Charles Waldorff tells KIRO Radio.

Waldorff says open textbooks on average, save students $100 per course.

Monson says he doesn’t understand how college textbook companies have gotten away with their high prices for so long.

“This one industry is allowed to just steal from millions of families every single year,” says Monson. “Everybody in that industry should be put in prison.”

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