By Suu Elen Manzano| Staff Writer|
I have yet to meet a student who, when asked, agreed with the price of textbooks. That’s because textbooks are just way too expensive.
Textbook prices have increased at a rate significantly outpacing that of the median household income, according to the California State Auditor report, on average students may spend as much as $1,815 on required textbooks.
I would like to say I am shocked, but frankly I am hit by this hard reality at the start of every quarter.
“I think everything in the bookstore is extremely expensive,” said Ron Shviro, who rents textbooks through the Coyote Bookstore.
I share this same sentiment, its hard to keep up with all the increases in fee’s and having to shell out extra money for new textbooks is aggravating to say the least.
Why should I, or any student have to pay hundreds of dollars for textbooks that are realistically only used for a quarter or semester?
The fact is that textbooks are not cheap, some climb around the $300 mark, far out of reach of your average college student.
According to the California State Auditor reports, the cost of textbooks for California Community Colleges was nearly 60 percent of a full-time student’s total education cost.
If this doesn’t clearly illustrate the exorbitant prices for textbooks then what will? Books should not cost more than tuition itself.
Chegg is an online website for renting and buying textbooks and e-books at prices far below those found in traditional bookstores.
“Now that I found Chegg I never buy books on campus, unless its a professors book that isn’t available anywhere else,” said CSUSB student Esmeralda Becerra.
With high prices like these many students try to circumvent the cost by buying used books, renting, or purchasing digital copies.
This is probably the reason many students are inclined to click on their mouse before heading to their local bookstore.
“I only bought books for the first two quarters and resold them for twenty bucks. After that I never bought here again,” said student Edgar Reyes.
Kevin O’Rourke Textbook manager at CSUSB’s Coyote Bookstore explains that publishers establish a price that they charge retailers, “We do use a margin to then determine the retail price that we sell the book for,” said O’Rourke.
The National Association of College Stores breaks down how funds are distributed in the cost of new textbooks.
For example out of every $1 of a new textbook, 77.4 cents are textbook wholesale cost (publishing), 10.7 cents goes to college store personnel, 7.2 cents go to college store operations, 3.7 cents are college store income, and 1.0 cent goes to freight expenses.
Publishers take the bulk amount of every dollar of a new textbook.
What is more loathsome is that publishers are frequently issuing new editions making it even harder for students to buy used textbooks when they become older editions.
So what solution do we as students have? Buy used books where ever we can find them and at the cheapest prices we can get them for.