Students paying too much for textbooks

Three hundred dollars, $700, $1,200.

Nope, not buying a laptop.

Just the cost of textbooks for a semester.

Each semester the prices for textbooks seem to increase, with students having to shell out extra hundreds of dollars on top of increasing tuition rates.

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, textbook prices increased by 186 percent between December 1985 and December 2004, nearly tripling in price.

Students are paying large amounts of money for textbooks and are only getting a fraction of that price back when they resell their books, resulting in a huge financial loss.

What’s even more irritating for students than paying ridiculous amounts for textbooks is when they don’t even end up using those overpriced books for classes.

Some books don’t even come out of the shrink-wrap.

What a waste of money.

And what’s even more frustrating than that is when a student opens the book to the first page, and right there on the title page is the professor’s name.

Can you spell r-o-y-a-l-t-i-e-s?

When professors write or co-author textbooks, they get a cut of the profits whenever the book is purchased. By requiring their students to purchase the book, professors increase the chance they’ll make money off of it.

If it is actually a good book on the subject, well-researched and ideal for the class, then a professor choosing to use his or her own book is acceptable. Otherwise it would be better to use other authors.

While there are considerate professors who try to rely on free online materials to use in class instead of textbooks, alleviating the cost for students, there needs to be a serious effort to decrease the cost of books for students.

Whether it’s requiring fewer books, picking cheaper textbooks, or using online materials, faculty and administrators need to try to lower the expense for students.

Every dollar students don’t have to pay is that much less in debt they will be when they get out of college.

Every little bit helps.