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Books are expensive, money is scarce

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editorial cartoon by Natalie Fowle

editorial cartoon by Natalie Fowle

College students account for a percentage of the population which is usually short on cash. College students support an institution that provides an education. But at the same time mandate expenses that add to student debt. These expenses range from lab fees to student activity fees and then there are textbooks.

Textbooks prices have gotten so out of control that some students would rather jeopardize their grades and not buy books than spend a hundred dollars or more on a single book.

Publishers of textbooks are well aware that they have a huge market dependent on them and that no matter what, they will always make money off poor, college students. They have no problem sleeping at night charging students outrageous prices. Books will always be in demand, so why not take advantage, right?

Wrong! Publishers, along with our bookstore, need to realize that students struggle financially, and charging so much money for books is unfair and unnecessary.

Publishers put out a new edition of an old book every year. Is the Spanish language evolving so much that we need a new edition every year? Highly doubtful. It is just a careful way to go about selling more books at higher prices and denying students the ability to sell their old books back.

In taking a look at where the textbook dollar goes on average, according to financial data gathered by the National Association of College Stores and the Association of American Publishers, publishers get $0.32 of every dollar, the authors, however, get a mere $0.11 for their work. Apparently the publishers have no problem cheating people out of their money.

The ULV bookstore (which gets its books from Follett Higher Education Group) bases its prices for textbooks on the publishers’ suggested price. Where they really make their money is by selling used books back to students. They profit from buying books back for a fraction of the price students paid for them and sell them back for double or even triple the price.

When students go into the bookstore to sell their book back, only to find out that their book has been revised, what happens then?

The bookstore gives students the option of taking their books off their hands even if they have no value. They then throw those books away.

Students are getting robbed. It almost feels like we are trapped into either letting our grades suffer because we can’t afford our books or going deeper into debt.

Bottom line, we as students have no choice but to buy books. Publishers are not going lose their market. If they could at all be more considerate of the wallet sizes college students carry in their pocket, a whole population of poor college students would be greatly appreciative.

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