The Higher Education Opportunity Act is a 2008 update to the Higher Education Act formed in 1965.  The HEOA is important because it is rolling into effect and it gives much more power in the marketplace of ideas to the consumer — students — so enlightened and keen decision-making can take place in the full light of day.  Here are some of the general provisions in the 2008 update:

Students will soon be able to view, online, the exact cost of attendance without any fluff or hiding or outdated information:

In accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), by October 29, 2011, each postsecondary institution in the United States that participates in Title IV student aid programs must post a net price calculator on its Web site that uses institutional data to provide estimated net price information to current and prospective students and their families based on a student’s individual circumstances.

Our favorite provision in the HEOA concerns textbooks.

Institutions are now encouraged to help students find the best deal by providing pricing and ISBN numbers and access to used texts.

One of the largest, and most unexpected costs, of attending a university or
college is in the purchase of books.

One student can easily spend $1,000.00 USD on textbooks per semester and students need all the help they can find in the fight to keep higher education an affordable want instead of an impossible need.

Now we need President Obama’s overhaul of the entire student loan program to go through so the real world of getting smarter can go into effect without worrying about the incredible debt so many students have to take on in order to move up their minds in the world.


  1. One of the hardest parts of being a students was buying books. The next hardest part was selling back the books at the end of the semester and getting back few pennies per dollar spent: sometimes I would just keep the book rather than sell it for so little.

  2. Textbooks are big business, Gordon. Professors are “convinced” by the publishers to use the latest and greatest edition and that means students get stuck with the seasonal “upgrade” that, many times, doesn’t include much new information. There’s no used books business if you’re required to buy the latest edition of the same book every year.

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