Photo: Sarah Gilbert (Flickr)
Purdue University President Mitch Daniels announced today a partnership which will give online retailer Amazon.com a physical presence on campus, starting this school year.
The internet company will allow students to order books online and then pick them up the following day at one of the campus locations.
Daniels says the move was prompted in part by the realization that some students were paying as much as $1,200 per year for their books.
“It bothered me as a parent of college students, and now I know the rate of increase in textbooks has been even faster than the rate of increase in tuition,” he says.
But Tom Frey, who runs University Book Store across the street from the Purdue Union where one of the Amazon outlets will be located says Daniels’ numbers are incorrect.
“Congressional Budget Office has been doing studies on this for the last ten years,” he says. “Prices have actually gone down. Expenditures on textbooks have gone down since 2007 – every year.”
Frey, who’s a member of the National Association of College Stores, says that group has for three years asked the federal government to intervene in what it sees as illegal undercutting by Amazon on more than 50,000 items. But legal action against the internet retailer has not progressed.
Purdue is the second school to have such an agreement with Amazon. The University of California-Davis was the first.