The increasing costs of college textbooks

Francesca Divincenzo, Staff Writer

One of the many crosses that college students have to bear is the prices of textbooks.Although textbooks are supposed to be a necessity for students they can also be a financial burden. According to The Pitt News College textbook prices have inflated more than 1000% since the 1970s, faster than any other cost of college, and 51% of students who dropout of college do so due to financial reasons, including the high costs of textbooks. Fifty-one percent is an awfully high number for dropping out of college, I think people should not have to pay a king’s ransom in order to get an education. I think it is hard enough to pay for college let alone paying for textbooks because everything is expensive.

According to The Breeze, almost every class requires at least one textbook, some requiring even more, and at times the purchases of textbooks can rack up an additional $500 on top of the thousands of dollars students are already paying per semester.Without financial support or scholarships, some students are left paying for tuition and fees as well as required class resources out of pocket. A lot of people say “nothing in life is easy or free,” but that is a hard lesson to learn for a college student because ever since kindergarten, teachers have always provided the books and other necessities. When you graduate high school, that is no longer the case as you enter adulthood the educational necessities begin to fade and become your responsibility.

One of the many culprits of the rise in textbook prices is price codes that professors give students to get the book. According to CBS News Textbooks bundled with access codes that expire at the end of the semester “largely force students to buy books at retail prices at campus bookstores and render the texts worthless in the resale market.”Many institutes of higher learning have adopted the idea of “Open Education Resources.” One of the many institutes that adopted this was Greenfield Community College in Massachusetts. According to CBS News “uses open-access texts in three of six required general education courses. That allowed students to spend as little as $31 per course on materials, compared to a national average of $153 per course.”One of the many problems that students have with professors is that professors will assign a book to the class, but end up never discussing it which leaves the student out $50.

According to The Washington Post, professors “expect [students] to then have all of these books immediately,” said Alexes Harris, a GWU senior majoring in creative writing and English. “I don’t think that’s necessarily fair, especially for low-income students.” Not only do people with low incomes struggle, but even middle class families have a hard time getting the textbooks. In conclusion, the prices of textbooks should either decrease drastically or include the books with the tuition for college.