Textbook Blues By: Christian Provost

Textbook Blues

By: Christian Provost



Text books, with the prices going from 50 dollars to three hundred dollars for just one book, have always been the bane of every student’s existence. These prices might not seem like much of a burden for students with financial aid. The students who tend to face challenges in textbook prices are those who have to pay for school out of pocket, due to ineligibility for financial aid or those whose financial aid only covers tuition.


Delgado’s bookstore is no stranger to over priced textbooks. Students buying books this semester were dealt a blow when sellers behind the counter told students that the bookstore no longer carried just access codes.  Students can opt out of paying high prices for a book and access code combo, by paying for an 80 dollar code that would students allow access to an eBook.


One student, James Ericson, said “I prefer the access code because I receive everything I need for my classes; I’m able to have an eBook and connect to my homework.”  Most students prefer an eBook due to the lower price and portability allowing students more freedom.


The students who pay for books using their vouchers liked the option of access codes, as well as, the students who pay out of pocket. Some students with vouchers still budget their finical aid funds for personal expenses.  Students with a minimum of four classes can pay up to five hundred dollars on just books, not including supplies.  Some students say there are alternative options to paying for high priced books.


Alternative options, like renting books, can be a relief for budget conscious students.  The cost to rent a textbook for a semester is usually 70 percent cheaper than paying for a book out right. However students renting books have to act fast as there is no guarantee of what books will be stock or left. According to Delgado student, Jeff Howard, “It’s nice to rent a book, but they run out early so once there gone your left looking for another way to get your textbook.”  The shortage of rental textbooks makes the rental process a first come first served process that can be a bit daunting for students, so their next option will be buying used text books.  Used textbooks are about 20 percent cheaper than new textbooks.  The bonus to buying used is that you get to keep the book versus having to return your books at the end of the semester. The problem with buying a used textbook is that it is used: it could be missing a few pages or have writing throughout the book. Students also still have to purchase an access code to do online homework.


Students also fear purchasing high cost textbooks because their professor may not ever require the use of the book.  This leaves students with an expensive paper weight. Students have the option to sell the book back to the book store but can expect back only 20 dollars for a book that originally cost 180 dollars.  The lack of resale value is made worst by binder ready books.  These books were created to make a textbook cheaper but often tear and fall apart very quickly.


Here are some ways to avoid the textbook blues.1. Wait until the first day of class when professors typically will let students know if they require the book. 2. Buy the access code only, this way homework and a portable online version of the book is readily available. 3. Plan ahead! Look online for required textbooks.


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