There is no amount of information that you can put in a book to make that book worth $300. Yet, college students are routinely taken advantage of by the textbook industry and its accomplices, including the College Bookstore and the people who select the textbooks.
There is no excuse for selling a used economic history book for $300 that will be replaced in the next semester. Even if the book were new, that price would be far too high for a book that a student will never use again, and a small chance of selling it back.
History doesn’t change enough to justify the frequent change in books, and considering the availability of the information online, there is no reason for students to be mortgaging their futures for an uncertain pathway to earning more money.
While students may not be able to choose which textbooks are used in class, they can choose how to get those textbooks. Purchasing the same book that cost $300 for $120 online, including shipping is a better deal and something that every student should do.
That may mean that professors will have to wait for students to get those books, but the cost savings is more than worth it. Not requiring students to purchase a book for class can be helpful as well.
When it comes to textbooks, the College Bookstore will never get any more of my money. The first couple of semesters, I bought from Salt lake Community College because I figured that supporting the college was my civic duty. However, until SLCC figures out how to treat its students fairly when it comes to the cost of going to college, it is up to students to take their own economic reins.
As long as Utah wants to train its students for the job market, it isn’t just enough to eat ramen two meals a day. We must also be savvy consumers. That means finding the lowest price for every book that is required. Whether you rent or buy, you have choices. Make the best of those choices and help keep your student loans low.