By: Kami Rowe
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – (UTC The Loop) For students who want to further their education, it’s going to cost an arm and a leg. The price of a college education is rising and students are starting to feel their pockets growing thinner.
On top of paying for classes, a decent meal plan, and those “additional fees”, students are faced with the extreme cost of textbooks. The price of textbooks has increased over the years, and students are finding ways to avoid them.
UTC students are spending between $200 and $400 for textbooks each semester. The average cost of textbooks in the U.S. per semester can be about $600, a pretty penny for something you’ll only use once.
Where does the textbook dollar go?
- 77.9 cents – textbook wholesale cost
- 11 cents – bookstore personnel
- 2.7 cents – bookstore income
- 7.4 cents – bookstore operations
- 1 cent – freight expense
A survey taken by college students showed that most students are opting out of purchasing textbooks from the campus bookstore and purchasing them on Amazon, Chegg, and other book retailers.
These sources have books for much cheaper and can help cut costs by 40 percent or more. Although you can get the books for a discounted price, many students find that they hardly use the textbook during the semester.
Preston Coyle, a junior from Franklin, Tenn. said, “I have bought way too many books that I’ve never even picked up.”
A survey has shown that 40 percent of students use their book only a couple times throughout the semester and that 20 percent have never used the book they purchased.
To avoid buying “required textbooks” that go unused, students are using websites like Facebook and Rate My Professor to compare with other students. Coyle says that he likes to ask people who have already taken the course before he buys a book.
A downside to purchasing textbooks that go unused is the loss of money. Although you can sell the textbook back, you will not get a full refund for it.
Courtney Windrow, a junior at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, says that the cost of textbooks isn’t any better there. “I always buy the required textbooks, but it’s the worst when they’re written by that professor. I feel like they require it just to make money, even if we never use it.”
Professors make royalties from the sale of the textbooks they wrote or helped write. It’s becoming an easy way for teachers to make a quick buck at the student’s expense.
The textbook prices are something that all students will have to deal with throughout their college career, but there are ways to save money and make sure that you will actually use the book. Students can communicate on social media to compare prices to make sure they are getting the most bang for their buck.
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