MAJORITY MEMBERS: HaNARD P. .BUCK. McKEON. CALIFORNIA, c.-M.AN THOMAS PE1N.~IN.

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WASHINGTON, DC 20515-6100 MAJORITY(202) 225-4527 MINORITY (202) 225-3725
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ETTY~~A DANNYK. DAVIS. I.LHJS RAIA.M. GNJALVA.~ VAN HOLLEN. MARYlAND TWRYAN.~ 1WOTHYH. 81S1«W, YORK

May 26, 2006

Dr. William J. Goggin ExecutiveDirector The Advisory Committee on StudentFinancialAssistance 80 F Street,NW Suite413 Washington,DC 20202-7582 Dear Dr. Goggin: In this knowledge-based economy,a collegeeducationhasbecomeincreasingly important,not just to the individual, but to the nation asa whole. The growth and continuedexpansion the nation'seconomyis heavily dependent an educated of on and highly skilled workforce. Yet, today too many students families are strugglingto and meetrising tuition, high studentloan debt,andthe soaringcostsof collegetextbooks. Recentnewsreportshaveexposed what students haveknown all along -- textbook pricesare rising at exorbitantrates.Today,the average estimated cost of booksand suppliesfor collegestudents approximately$900.Unfortunately,theserising prices is addto the difficulties families facewhen paying for a postsecondary education. Last year,the Government Accountability Office' (GAD) releaSed report on the a soaringcostsof collegetextbooks,andwhat they found is shocking: Textbookpriceshaverisen at an average 6% eachyear since 1987,compared of with average annualinflation of only 3% during that period.

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Since 1986,textbookpriceshavenearlytripled, increasingby 186%,while overall inflation hasbeen72% over the sametime.

Dr. William J. Goggin May 26, 2006 Page2

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The cost of textbooksand suppliesasa percentage overall tuition and feesis of 72% for communitycollegestudents. This meansthat thesestudents must pay almostasmuch for textbooksasthey do for tuition. For students 4-yearpublic institutions,the cost of textbooksis 26% of tuition at and fees.

The GAO also discovered that many factorsare contributingto this problem, including the development supplemental of productsto accompany textbooks;increased textbookrevisions;increased relianceon a secondary market;and increased production costs. It is importantthat we continueto shedlight on this issueso that consumers are awareof theserising costs.For this reason, are writing to urge the Advisory we Committeeon StudentFinancialAssistance investigatefurther the problemof rising to textbookprices,to determineits impacton students affording a postsecondary in education,andto makerecommendations Congress, Secretary, other for the and stakeholders what canbe doneto maketextbooksmore affordable. on We askthat the Advisory Committeereportback to the HouseEducationandthe Workforce Committeeby May 2007. We look forward to working with the Advisory Committeeto address issue.If we canbe of any assistance this pleasedo not hesitateto contactus. With warm regards,

Howard P. "Buck" McKeon House Committee on Education
Chairman --

& j)1V1(L
l..fJ
and the Workforce
-

DavidWu Member Congress of

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