Everyone knows going to college is crucial in our modern era of job seeking and career advancement.
Nobody wants to break the bank while earning a degree, but with tuition, student fees and — our favorite — textbooks, it can be a challenge.
Salt Lake Community College ranks as one of the best colleges for being textbook friendly when it comes to price, according to Junior Martinez, president of the SLCC Student Association.
The school, for example, supports projects like Open Educational Resources, which offers a low or no-cost textbook option for certain classes.
Since the fall of 2014, OER have saved students $7.8 million dollars.
“SLCC faculty has dedicated a lot of time and effort in putting up Open Educational Resources,” says Jason Pickavance, director of Faculty Development and Educational Initiatives.
Open SLCC, another name for the college’s OER, is something that cannot be done overnight, Pickavance notes.
Professors must be willing to change their textbooks and reform courses when the class is changed. Some of the professors are also encouraged to write their own textbooks and modify the class according to how they would like to teach it.
Not all classes can be taken under a low or no-cost option, however. But students have other options when shopping for their textbooks.
The Student Life and Leadership office also offers many scholarships, including one that covers textbook costs. One scholarship, known as the Book Scholarship, is only available in the spring and summer semesters for students who are about to graduate from SLCC.
Nelly Quintanilla, coordinator in the Student Life and Leadership office, organizes the Book Scholarship.
“Recipients of the scholarship will be assisted with two textbooks, no matter what the cost,” says Quintanilla, noting the scholarship comes with some requirements. All students, however, can apply.
If scholarships aren’t an option, one can turn to bargain hunting.
The best way to compare prices among textbooks is online, but make sure to check the credibility of the website first.
Amazon.com, arguably the most reputable and popular site for buying textbooks, gives students the freedom to rent or buy new or used textbooks in digital or hardcopy format.
Chegg is another popular place to purchase or rent textbooks. Chegg doesn’t deliver quite as quickly as Amazon, but it offers affordable prices in comparison to traditional bookstores.
Ansley Roberts, a nursing major at SLCC, confirms Amazon has become a student favorite for textbooks.
“It is the most practical bookstore available,” she says.
Some students use of combination of resources for finding textbooks, including OER.
When registering for classes, students can browse a list of open courses by selecting the “No Cost/Low Cost Textbook” search option.
For more information about OER, an open house event will be held March 7 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus.