By Steffanie Martinez |Staff Writer|
Finals week is here again.
You’re probably looking around realizing you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on all these textbooks you didn’t once open.
All of this could have been avoided had our professors researched the “open educational resources” alternative.
I might have been able to get a quality text book from $10-$40 in comparison to the textbook average that begins at $60 all the way up to $200.
Open textbooks are written with the understanding that they will be free to print or read online.
It is a beneficial option that has been proven to work at some universities; it would be a great alternative for
schools because it would save students a substantial amount of money.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group reviewed the program at five colleges, and proved it to be successful.
Although there are limited quantities of subjects available, interest is growing for open source textbooks.
Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a soon to be graduate, I’m sure we can all agree the price of textbooks are sometimes ridiculously high.
It’s not an easy decision, do you splurge on the brand new book at a high cost?
Or do you purchase the used version which unfortunately is full of either writing, highlighting, or unnecessary notes (sometimes all of the above)?
The alternatives while different in terms of appearance, at time don’t save you much more money than the other.
When I came in as a freshman I made the mistake of buying all my textbooks, since our syllabus said it was “mandatory” only to find that by the end of the quarter it wasn’t fundamental to pass the class.
Also being asked to purchase the newest edition when there was hardly any difference at all from the one before.
I know this is a problem.
I’ve witnessed in some of my classes students saying they aren’t able to purchase the textbook,
It is not because they want to spend their money elsewhere but simply because they can’t afford it.
According to college source, the yearly books-and-supplies estimate for the average full-time undergraduate student at a four-year public college is about $1,200.
The issue has created movements around four year universities, in order to help lower the cost for students they rely on “open” educational resources.
So where and who is the money we are spending going too?
According to the National Association of College Stores, more than 77 cents of every dollar spent on textbooks go to publishers.
Yet on the average, even they only profit 12 cents on the dollar.
The profit seems small looked in terms of cents, but taking into consideration that each student spends around $300 per quarter they are averaging around $2 million per campus.
While there are free textbooks online more often they aren’t the ones required for current courses.
The cost of textbooks is just something extra for students to worry about, they would rather not buy the textbook even if their grade suffers for it.
Personally, I’ve had the pleasure of taking classes were professors print worksheets, give online readings, or simply recommend a textbook rather than making it mandatory to purchase.
The business of textbooks is a scheme and hard to get away from.
Publishers are aware that we need this information, and as a student it is information I want accessible to me.
If textbooks cannot be made free, they should at least be priced at a rate affordable to all students.
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