Higher Ed Watch Blog has a section on textbook price curbing. Apparently the newly signed Higher Education Act will help a lot.
This legislation aims to drive down textbook prices by helping colleges and students make better-informed decisions. The bill would require publishers to disclose any major revisions in new editions of textbooks to individuals making purchasing decisions. This should help colleges decide whether it makes sense to order the latest editions, which are more expensive and less likely to be available used. Publishers would also be required to sell supplementary materials and textbooks separately. Separating out bundled materials should decrease student costs by allowing individuals to purchase a book without having to also pay for expensive companion items. The bill also requires colleges to tell students the name and cost of textbooks used in a given course by posting such information on online course schedules. Providing this information before classes start gives students time to look for copies of the books online, where they can often be purchased for less. We are hopeful that these changes will bring some relief to students.
I think that will help.
However, a friend of mine in her graduate studies is told what the name of the book is, but they don’t give the edition or the ISBN number. I hope that it requires that in the bill.