In addition to rising tuition costs and the insurmountable price of on-campus housing, students spend hundred of dollars per semester on required textbooks. 

However, campus bookstores may be facing some competition with the launch of the iBooks 2 app available for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. The app, which was released on Jan. 19, has already yielded over 350,000 e-book downloads.

College textbook pricing is a scam worthy of the Mafia, read one comment under an article posted on The Huffington Post.

I'll be missing college bookstores as much as I'll be missing gasoline stations, movie theaters and rotary phones, read another on 

But with education migrating towards the digital realm, it's important to consider how much you're actually saving through Apple products. 

The starting price for an iPad 2 $499, which is the basic 16 GB model with no 3G network access. Throw in both wireless and 3G with 64 GB of memory, and now you're at $829. This doesn't include any apps, special features, or accessories. 

But wait, we didn't even get to the textbooks yet. Although the iBook app itself is free, the textbooks are not. The primary appeal for electronic textbooks is the seemingly low price, which maxes out at $14.99 in the iBook store. But combine that with the price you've already paid for your iPad, and with the cheapest model the cost already amounts to over $500.

If a student purchases five books from the iBook store at $14.99 each, that is approximately $75. Let's say that student spends the same amount the following semester, the price now jumps to $649 for one academic year.

Of course, textbook prices vary between different publishers, and each purchase should be suited to a student's course of study. Textbooks from publishers such as McGraw-Hill can be up to $100 each. But every once in a while it's important to step back and take a look at the numbers when it comes to determining your academic purchases.