By Erica Matz
Every semester students make a trip to the bookstore where they may dump more money than they are able to spend on books for their classes. I always think: why is this line so long? Students pay more for textbooks each semester, and then when the semester is over and they no longer need it, returning them for a fraction of what they paid is the only option that pays back.
Students need textbooks for classes that they enroll in. Textbooks are an integral part of any scholastic course. Almost every course at the college recommends a textbook, regardless of whether or not the professor recommends it. Textbooks pose a huge burden on the student because of their price. The price of textbooks is outrageous, it is not uncommon for a science or math book to run a student around two hundred dollars. According to a study performed by http://www.OnlineEducation.net the average student pays approximately nine hundred dollars for textbooks in an academic year.
The market for textbooks is run in a different way from the market for any other product. A publisher puts out a copy of a book at any given price, and the consumers (professors and students in this case) buy it. The market for textbooks is unfair not to just collages and professors but to mainly the students. The students are the lifeblood of college and university institutions and yet their monetary options with their courses are outrageous. This method has very limited competition and can be argued to be monopolistic. It is a one-sided and unfair system and also it is straining on the students. Fortunately other options do exist for students who have this issue.
Students need to be more educated on their options on how to obtain textbooks. Buying online for used textbooks can absolutely reduce the price of the book. Students can find books on popular websites that they probably use often. These include Amazon and Ebay. Used books aren’t only just for sale online though, a student can check with their relative bookstore to see if there are any available for them to buy used. Also, buying an older edition of the book can be cheaper. The page numbers may vary but much of the time the different editions are virtually the same. Ebooks are also drastically cheaper than hardcopies. http://www.OnlineEducation.net states that they are 52% cheaper than their hard-copy counterparts. ‘Open books’ that come in an Adobe PDF file cost an approximated twenty seven dollars on average. They are not widely available but if a student does his or her research they may be lucky enough to stumble across one. Renting textbooks is a very widely used and costly way of obtaining textbooks. http://Www.Chegg.com and http://www.bookrenter.com are just two websites that one can use to rent textbooks each semester. Renting textbooks can bring the price down to a fraction of what you would pay for it in the bookstore. Also, you do not have to go through all of the trouble in selling your used textbook back for hardly the price you bought it at. There are some negatives to renting textbooks, such as having to wait for them to come in the mail. This can prove to be an issue if your professor jumps right into the course work. Also sometimes it could be while supplies lasts. Students have rented a book and discovered that it is no longer in stock. Students buying in the bookstore may like that they receive brand-new books almost immediately.
“If a student buys a textbook in the bookstore they are guaranteed all of the codes that the textbook comes with. Buying from the school store also provides significant benefits to the college itself.” Said Matthew Koget, a sales associate at the bookstore. The benefits coming with buying books from the bookstore include the benefits that the college itself gets from the revenue of the textbooks, as well as guaranteeing various codes and links to online homework if a course needs it. “The bookstore prices are unfair to the students, they don’t take into account the fact that we need these books for a course and that we cannot afford to pay 400$ alone on books each semester.” Said Travis Wood, a liberal arts student at the Ammerman campus.
Students need to be educated on their options when it comes to textbooks. Textbooks are essential and beneficial to a college course. The textbook can be utilized as a learning and studying tool, it can help a student get through their course and homework more easily and textbooks are integral in the learning process for students. However the knowledge of how to obtain textbooks for a lower price is not widely publicized where it needs to be. It is imperative towards a students’ wallet and wellbeing to be aware of their options as a student.