Cost Control

These days, a single college textbook can cost more than some area residents paid in higher education tuition for an entire semester. It is not uncommon to pay more than $100 for a book.

Some cost $200-$300.

Multiply that by a dozen or so books and the total can eclipse what once covered tuition, room, board and books for college.

West Virginia University has unveiled an initiative to do something about the problem.

Several approaches can help. They include ensuring students can buy used books rather than new ones, can use digital texts rather than printed and bound volumes, and that professors keep students’ budgets in mind when selecting material.

There can be pitfalls in all those approaches, however. One student told The Associated Press he thought he was buying a digital textbook, but found it expired after 180 days.

WVU officials are right to consider textbook cost control a priority.

They should do everything practical to help students avoid blowing their weekly meal budgets on a single textbook.