The case against course costs - Catherine McMillan, Duke Chronicle
Course costs pose a barrier not only to student outcomes once they’re in a class, but actively impact students’ self-determinism in the course selection process. Because of the imposition of financial restraints, a student may opt to take classes with more affordable materials. In an institution that prizes free reign to explore intellectually without barriers, this compromise that students are cornered into is unacceptable. This lack of consumerism can be attributed to the growth of shadow libraries—the “black market” of course materials—which bypass the actual purchase of materials by way of textbook pdf circulation, online databases and other sharing platforms. But it’s also a consequence of the general inflated costs endemic to higher education over the past few decades.