College is expensive enough without wasting money on unnecessary textbooks – The American River Current


Students don’t use textbooks to learn, instead they sit on a dusty shelf

Many textbooks are starting to pile up because it is difficult to resell them. Rather, professors should take the time to research different, more affordable and accessible options for their students. (Photographic illustration by Maya Barber)

It is very expensive to go to university. You have to pay for your lessons, materials, in some cases the dormitory and textbooks. While all of these expenses are significant, some professors ask students to purchase textbooks that they end up not using.

Textbooks are a tool that professors use to help explain concepts better, as they use the content they contain to support and formulate an accurate lesson plan for students. In addition, they allow students to acquire a thorough understanding of the subject.

At the start of the school year, teachers have a list of textbooks to purchase before class begins and it is the student’s job to buy, rent or borrow these materials.

Textbook prices fluctuate every year, depending on the courses you take or how new the book is. In the last three semesters at American River College, I spent $ 470.25 buying and renting textbooks from the ARC Bookstore, and that number does not include other purchases made on external websites.

It is unacceptable to buy almost $ 500 worth of textbooks and then use only a few pages of a book and not open them at all because teachers do not assign reading assignments. There are a plethora of other ways that this money could have been spent and / or saved.

Many students come from different socio-economic backgrounds and spend their last dollars on textbooks because teachers stress how important it is to buy a specific textbook.

Yes, textbook buybacks are sometimes an option, but not often enough. In order to resell your textbook, the class must use the exact same edition of the book the next semester, which is highly unlikely. With a constantly changing world, new information is found every day and textbook authors keep making new editions.

When teachers assign textbooks, they should do their research and consider the majority of student needs. It means evaluating the book and asking critical thinking questions that determine whether the book is unmistakably needed for this class.

Additionally, they should make informed decisions when determining whether students should purchase a new edition of a book, especially if only a small portion is edited. Last year’s manual will be cheaper because it is an older version.

However, if you have to buy a new textbook, rental and used books are a great alternative to buying a new one every year. They provide the same information, but at a more affordable price, and in my experience they are normally in great condition and sometimes include sticky notes from the previous person which is a big help.

College is already expensive. If professors take an extra second to do additional research, it will help students not to waste their hard-earned money on books that sit on the shelf and collect dust all semester. They would be able to use the manual to the best of their ability.

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