By Erica Wong |Staff Writer|
With textbooks as high as $300, an increasing number of students are resorting to other methods.
In a survey conducted by Iota Phi Theta, 152 out of 170 CSUSB students believe textbook prices are too high.
When asked if book prices should be lowered, CSUSB senior Bianca Velasco said, “Definitely!” with no hesitation, further stressing that, “Books are too expensive, they burn a hole in my pocket!”
Buying expensive books “causes a financial burden on students that are already worried about other things,” said Christina Estrella, a Cal Poly Pomona student. “Most students these days do not receive enough financial aid or other money to purchase the necessary books for all courses.”
Most of the students interviewed confessed they would pick and choose which books to buy, depending on the difficulty of the class and whether they’ll be tested on information found only in the book that is not in the lecture material.
Textbooks are not the only supplies students are required to purchase.
Clickers and access codes to certain websites may also be required materials for classes.
A majority of students believe these materials need to be used more often if they are required for the class or that a rental service should be available for temporary uses of these materials.
Contrary to popular belief, the Coyote Bookstore pays a very similar amount to the price we pay for books.
“The costs may appear high at times but that is only because of the publishers that make the books,” said a former Coyote Bookstore employee.
He explained that lower prices may mean the bookstore may not be able to bring in enough profit to even pay their employees and there is always some sort of a chain reaction.
Although this seems like a Catch-22, students recommend renting, sharing the book with a friend or classmate, and even finding legal PDF versions online with a simple Google search.
UC Berkeley graduate Travis Lambirth recommends making older friends in your major so you can access hand-me-down textbooks while simultaneously getting help in picking classes.
He also recommends planning ahead because required books are often listed on the course website. This way, you can check out prices between competitors online instead of having to pay full price last minute at the bookstore.
Lambirth believes books may be an investment for the future.
“Today, I have an awesome library of textbooks from school that I am proud of and that I have consistently consulted since graduating three years ago,” said Lambirth.
There are also other ways to get books outside of borrowing from friends.
If an instructor doesn’t keep the book on reserve in the Pfau Library, Amazon and Chegg are both popular sites for students to find the books they need.
If all else fails, there is even a Facebook group called CSUSB Post & Book Trade for students looking for good deals to buy and sell books with their fellow Coyotes.