Just like college tuition, the price of textbooks has increased dramatically in recent years. Despite having access to online resources, most of the material used in colleges and universities are hard copy textbooks which cost a lot. But do you know why college textbooks are so expensive?
High-priced college textbooks with “access codes” that expire at the end of the semester compel students to buy books at retail prices at campus bookstores, rendering the texts worthless in the resale market. Almost four of every ten college courses include access codes with their textbooks.
The Expensive Learning Tool
It’s no secret that college tuition has skyrocketed recently, but that’s not the only thing that’s gone up. After you’ve paid for your admission and arrived on campus, you’ll need to pay for your textbooks. While this may appear to be a minor outlay, some books can cost hundreds or even thousands! According to the National Association of College Stores, the average student spends $662 per year on course materials.
You’re not alone if you think this is a lot to pay for a few books. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to avoid paying these exorbitant fees. You can navigate the college textbook marketplace and save a significant amount of money with some research and helpful guidance from the sources listed below. (Source: Study Blog)
Publisher’s Business Strategy
Not surprisingly, the primary motivation for the price increase is the desire for more money. Because publishers profit heavily from textbook sales, a higher sticker price means a better bottom line.
Because there are so few textbook publishers, the market is less competitive. Companies can charge higher prices because no smaller, independent businesses can step in and offer a lower price.
Furthermore, college students are essentially a captive audience; books are required materials, so they must buy them. Publishers are well aware that they can raise prices without fear of losing sales to competitors, and they take full advantage of this strategy. (Source: Study Blog)
Professors need to be made aware of or indifferent to the cost of the books they assign. Instead of selecting the most cost-effective books, they choose those they prefer to use when teaching.
In other cases, you may enroll in a course taught by a professor who assigns their book as reading material, either for vanity or to increase personal sales. (Source: Study Blog)
Updating the Content of the Textbooks
Textbooks are frequently rewritten and updated to reflect current knowledge, particularly in the medical and scientific fields, where information and best practices constantly change. While keeping textbooks up to date is essential, this practice forces students to buy the most recent editions of books and gives publishers an excuse to charge more.
Nora Smith, a recent Case Western Reserve University nursing program graduate, noticed the cost difference between years.
My junior year, we used an older edition, but this past semester my teacher assigned a newer version and I had no choice but to spend an extra $200.Nora Smith, Student, Case Western Reserve University
Publishers frequently bundle textbooks with CDs or other forms of software to increase their profits. Despite adding little to the product’s overall value, these add-ons provide yet another reason to charge a higher price. (Source: Study Blog)
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