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Sunday, May 9, 2021

In face of rising textbook costs, students get creative

By Joshua DeJong


Students across campus are feeling the pain of textbook purchases, some spending upward of $300 for fall quarter alone. According to the National Association for College Stores (NACS), last year students spent $579 on average for required course materials.

This causes many students go on the hunt for the cheapest textbook prices.

Amazon, Ebay, Chegg and CheapestTextbooks.com are among a few of the places students find textbooks online, but they have also turned to other avenues.

Course reserves, borrowing textbooks from friends who have had the same classes or PDFs found online are some of the ways students are to saving money on textbooks.

Infographic by Ben Olson

Some students are looking to cut the prices altogether. NACS reports, “In spring 2017, 25 percent of students surveyed reported using a free method to obtain what they needed for class, up from 19 percent the previous year.”

Freshmen Kyle Griffin said the AS Bookstore, in some cases, has been the best choice for him because of shipping prices and times, which could cost him more in the long run.

“I usually look online for lower prices if I can, but sometimes it might take weeks to ship. It might end up being a lot more expensive,” Griffin said.

Claire Farnsworth, an international business major, said it was normal for her to spend $300 to 400 per quarter on textbooks. Because of this, she started using CheapestTextbooks.com, a price comparison website.

“You just type in the ISBN and it gives you a list of all of the sites that have the cheapest textbooks for that book,” Farnsworth said.

Infographic by Ben Olson

Senior Shelby Sterbenz said the course reserves in the library is her go-to place for her textbooks.

“For the hard sciences, they always have those books in the course reserves for one class or another,” Sterbenz said. “You can always go in there and find the book you need.”

Junior Stevie Cairns, a communications major, said it was hard to work all summer to end up paying so much for textbooks.

“Paying tuition and then having the extra expense of $300 or $400 is kind of disheartening,” he said.


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