Along with paying for food, rent and other necessities, Keene State College students are also burdened with paying for textbooks.
According to CollegeBoard.com, an organization that is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education, the yearly books and supplies estimate for the average student at a four-year public college is about $1,200.
KSC first-year Christine Blunden said she estimates she spent around $300 last semester on textbooks from the KSC Bookstore.
This semester, however, Blunden said she got most of her textbooks online from Amazon because it was much cheaper.
Students said they often try to buy their textbooks from a website like Chegg, Amazon or eBay Inc. instead of the KSC Bookstore to save money.
Rebecca Imbimbo, a KSC junior, said she usually orders her textbooks online, but if a teacher assigns homework requiring the textbook the first week of school she buys the book from the KSC Bookstore.
Some high-priced textbooks have had KSC students questioning if they should even buy the required book.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group [PIRG], a research and advocacy organization, found in a survey that 65 percent of college students had decided not to buy a college textbook due to its high price.
Of that group, 94 percent said they had concerns that their decision not to buy the book would affect their grades.
Imbimbo said that she has not bought a required textbook for a class because of the price.
“My friends that I have class with will rotate who buys or rents a book so we usually just share, especially the more expensive ones,” Imbimbo said.
In another study, PIRG also found that textbook prices have increased 82 percent in the last ten years.
Imbimbo said in addition to the high costs of textbooks, another problem is that the KSC Bookstore often won’t buy back the books she purchased at the beginning of the semester.
“It’s either the wrong edition or no longer needed,” Imbimbo said.
“I still have books from semesters ago that I can’t sell to anyone or anywhere,” she continued.
Blunden also found the same problem.
She said last semester she bought one textbook for $70 and the bookstore wouldn’t give her any money back for it at the end of the semester.
“If they’re going to charge such high prices for [textbooks] there should be more of a give back at the end of the semester,” Blunden said.
She continued, “If they already know the buyback price won’t be high then they should charge less at the beginning of the semester.”
KSC sophomore Kat Vaccaro said she has paid for a required textbook that she didn’t end up using in a class.
This is why some students say they wait until the first day of class to purchase textbooks, either online or in the bookstore.
“It was annoying to find out I didn’t need a textbook I spent so much money on,” Vaccaro said.
Vaccaro gave her opinion on what she thinks professors should do when considering what textbooks to require.
“If a teacher requires a book, especially an expensive one, for a class that is not entirely people from one major, then emphasize its use or ignore it all together,” Vaccaro said.
Imbimbo also expressed what she thinks can be done to combat students spending so
much money on textbooks.
Imbimbo said, “Teachers could photocopy, project or post on canvas what we need from a textbook if we’re only going to use it every now and then.”
Taylor Thomas can be contacted at email@example.com