A new survey of college students’ views on affordability conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of Cengage found the reality for many students is that they have to choose between eating and paying for a textbook.

Nearly half of current and former college students (43%) say they’ve saved money by skipping meals in order to afford course materials. Minority students are also more likely to report taking fewer classes to save on textbook costs.

Top financial stressor

The survey of 1,651 current and former college students also found that 85% say that textbook and course material expenses are their top financial stressor after tuition.

Families are affected, too, with 1 out of every 3 students forgoing a holiday trip home in lieu of getting college textbooks. This is a tradeoff disproportionately impacting African American students, who are 35% more likely than their white peers to save money for books by skipping a trip home.

The good news?

In conjunction with institutional policy changes and choices – digital courseware providers, open education resources, and interactive content providers are promising to change all that.

Learn more here, and view the full infographic here.

FEATURED PHOTO: Susan Aspey, Senior VP, Communications, Public Affairs & Policy at Cengage.