Textbook Costs Have Tripled
You’re registered for classes, your financial aid is finalized and you have the professors you’ve always wanted, you think all of your burdens are behind you until you enter the bookstore. The costs of textbooks have increased nationwide and students are now forced to comply for lack of better options.
Numerous studies have been conducted within the previous year and each of them has pointed to an evident yet unforeseen increase that’s destined to get worse. According to a study by the Government Accountability Office, Textbook prices almost tripled from 1986 to 2004.
How are students reacting to the continued increase in textbooks?
Shavon Cormick, a transfer student at Texas Arlington admits, “I worked damn near full time, 36 hours per week to make the extra money to pay for books in cash. But that made my grades drop,” she explained, “I bought some books off the internet and [a classmate] made a copy of one of our text books for 1/4 of the price.”
Kelley Posey, a junior at Saginaw Valley State University agrees, “I have learned to search for books online or go to the book store before the semester begins to get a good deal on used books. Also, to my surprise, a few of the novels needed for class are in the library— you just have to be one of the first to get them.”
In the recent Washington Post article, University of the District of Columbia (UDC) students were dealing with the disparities of overpriced texts and class supplies. The article highlighted the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) study which suggests that textbook prices have been rising at double the rate of inflation for the past two decades.
The article also highlighted a survey by the State Council of Education for Virginia which contends that students sometimes do with out their textbooks. The GAO’s findings also include the notion that students at four-year schools spent on average, about $900 for books and supplies in 2003-04, more than a quarter of the cost of tuition and fees.
At community colleges, the GAO study found, the books amounted to almost three quarters of the cost. Congress sought the study because many undergraduates receive financial aid, and the overall cost of college is a recurring concern.
Although many college students have exhausted their small lists of alternatives to purchasing textbooks, their advice is to check libraries, buy used books, photocopy classmate’s books, and shop online for books.
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