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Your books, your money and your education

The rising cost of textbooks is a challenging problem for students in all levels of education and especially for those who do not qualify for Financial Aid. I remember going to the bookstore after I first started college and finding that the books for most of my classes were unbelievably expensive. What I often did was walk away and check with my professors to see if they had an extra copy, or an older version of the book for me to use; most of them were very understanding.

Book borrowing works, but not always, especially when there is a new book or an updated/modified edition being used for the class. As for updated editions, I believe this issue can be solved too, or made easier for students; with the permission of the authors the department can put excerpts of a chapter on software like Blackbord or D2L instead of asking students to purchase the whole book for a few chapter changes that will be used during the term. Besides money, we could save a lot of trees by not having to buy four to five pounds of paper in a book form.

One can give a hundred reasons for sticking to the status quo with its updated/modified editions, but let’s admit it, textbook publishing has become big business, and that is why we have updated editions every year; it is how publishers make money! Additionally, if we dissect the matter further, paying $150 to $200 per book to me is overstepping the boundaries of reason. As if students are not paying too much already for their tuition, on top of that we have to spend at least $350 more on books per term.

I think students should be able to somehow negotiate with publishers on book prices, don’t you think?

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