Less Money for Textbooks Means More Money in Your Pocket

By Re’nesia Mills, Staff Writer

College students spend hundreds of dollars each semester between tuition and the cost of textbooks. There are, however, alternatives for buying and renting course textbooks when they are not available, out of stock, or too expensive at the PPCC bookstore.

Tieriah King, a first-year student at PPCC, feels students need to know about other options for purchasing or renting textbooks.

“I never imagined I would spend so much money on textbooks. It has become a stressful process,” King said.

Tyler Cabs, a nursing student at PPCC, said she cannot receive her textbooks from the Rampart Bookstore due to backorders through October. Cabs could have ordered her textbooks through eBay, Chegg, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, but she reluctantly ended up buying her books from Amazon, the most expensive option, because she could not find her books elsewhere. Prices of textbooks can vary drastically depending on the companies you price compare with.

Cabs was frustrated with the Rampart Range Bookstore employees. “They simply told me to look online or check back in with the bookstore at a later date. I was not given much direction on where I could look to order my textbooks,” she said.

The price of textbooks and learning tools can be a burden for students and cause them to stress about how to pay for the resources they need.

“My first semester here, I spent $400 on four textbooks and later found out that I could rent from Amazon for way lower prices. I prefer to wait to purchase my textbooks because many professors do not use the textbook and I would rather not waste the money,” said PPCC student Evelin Rivera-Cabral.

Organizations are making a conscious effort to reduce some of the economic burdens which students are responsible for.

The State Student Advisory Council (SSAC) is currently working to lower the cost of books for students attending community colleges nationwide.

SSAC will be holding a conference sometime this month to discuss the possibility of lowering fees for textbooks. These efforts contribute to the success of the movement which has rapidly been spreading throughout the world.

Open Educational Resources (OER) is an option which educators could potentially offer to their students depending on the course, and most faculty at PPCC are in favor of adopting OER where it makes sense.

Kim Skarns, a current adjunct professor at PPCC said, “OERs are definitely cost effective. They provide textbooks and other articles that are free for educational use rather than paying a ton for a textbook.”

Faculty are currently helping to rewrite PPCC’s Educational Procedure related to textbook adoption (EP 330) and hope to have that finalized sometime this fall. The revision supports the use of OER, according to Faculty Senate President, Deidre Schoolcraft.

OER is a movement which was initiated by educators nationwide. The movement serves as a way to provide students with the materials they needed for classes without having to worry about the cost of textbooks and other educational resources.

When asked about the program, PPCC’s director of student life, Dawn Souza said, “I believe that it is great for students. We all know how expensive books are. If it is something students want, they should contact their State Student Advisory Council representative who is an officer in Student Government, and have that conversation. Student Government is the voice of students.”

“I believe that students have to do what works for their budget. The Learning Commons carries some of the most used books that students can check out. This year, Student Government had a book swap where the books were free. If students needed one of the books, they could take one and if they had one to give, they could leave one,” said Souza.

 

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