College has been the best time of my life thus far even though money is tight. Rent, internet and cable, utilities, Top Raman, and beer are just a few things in the average student budget.
Textbook prices have gotten out of control in America. In 2004, the State Public Interest Research Groups did a survey that found the same college textbooks sold in America and in other countries, were indeed more expensive in America.
Textbooks are increasing four times the inflation rate of all finished good in America (Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index).
“The wholesale prices charged by textbook publishers have jumped 62 percent since 1994, while prices charged for all finished goods increased only 14 percent. Similarly, the prices charged by publishers for general books increased just 19 percent during the same time period” (U.S. PIRG).
Significant tuition increases, not just in Washington, but across America will be happening over the next couple of years. Textbook prices are something that our colleges can help us reduce or eliminate. I hate when I go to a class and find out I have to not just buy one but two books or how I need to go sign up for some internet quiz service that cost me $80. What about those stupid ass clickers? Do we really need to pay $40 to $60 to answer probably about 15 questions the whole quarter, just because the professor is too lazy to take attendance?
College expenses are increasing every year in America and it just begins with tuition.
Here are a few ways to think about reducing or eliminating textbook cost. Textbook companies need to switch to a black and white and also to a non- hardcover format. Printing a textbook in color and using a hardback increases the cost four times the amount it would be if it were black and white. Amazon.com has come out with a new product called the Kindle 2; it cost $359 plus tax.
What if we could all buy our text books using this product for four years? New York best sellers are only $9.99 using this kindle platform.
Think if you only had to pay $30 to $60 dollars for three books a quarter. You would eliminate the book buy back market as well which is a shady industry targeting college student. Don’t you hate when you buy a book for $120 and they can’t buy it back or give you $40?
It makes me so mad, that I figure I may as well go to the bar with that money. You would also not even have to go to a university bookstore and wait in a ridiculously long line.
While some classes do have a reasonable reason to require text most do not.
For example, my business and society class with Larry Davis has us reading current internet articles; also utilizing Blackboard and readying PDF documents that you can print before class.
Not only does this save us money but can actually be more effective.
Professors please help us students and try not to require texts if it’s not necessary. Our state government has passed a bill allowing them to break the tuition increase cap (which was 7%).
The figures that have been thrown around in the House and the Senate are 14% next year and the following year by another 14% increase. There is nothing worse than buying an expensive book and honestly never needing it.