Last updateFri, 08 May 2020 6pm


Textbooks Expand Your Knowledge and Shrink Your Wallet

With the arrival of a new semester comes the promise of new experiences and different classes as we begin a new chapter in our college lives. However, one thing that will not be different is the high prices we students pay each semester for the cost of textbooks.

Book prices are not only an issue here at MU, but it is something many college students around the country face at the beginning of each semester.

According to an article in USA Today, students at four year colleges spend nearly $600 on textbooks per semester. The sad thing about this is that most of the time these books sit in rooms and collect dust for 16 weeks, as sometimes books that are “required reading” are never even opened.

One of the issues we have with the bookstore on campus is that it seems they overprice on some books and then under cut you when you go to sell them back. We have even seen cases where used books at the bookstore are more expensive than if you were to buy that same book online in new condition.

There’s also the idea of certain books being available only in the bookstore and they cannot be found online. This forces students to use the University bookstore if they wish to purchase the book.

Additionally, as a staff we find the idea of bundled books to be unnecessary and too cost consuming. Certain textbooks come with workbooks and the ISBN number for that workbook is not given separately. There are certain situations where this bundled workbook may not even be used in the class, making the purchase of the book a waste of money.

At the same time we realize that the publishers are most likely the ones who set the prices for books and it is not entirely the bookstores fault for some of the prices they charge for student textbooks. Sometimes it is hard to avoid having to buy expensive books because having the textbook is a necessity for doing well in that particular class.

If you are looking for some other options for buying books that could save you money, our editors here at The Outlook came up with a few possible alternatives.

The internet offers many different options for college students looking to buy books that are less expensive. You can rent books from websites like Chegg, where they send you the books at a lower price and allows you to send them back at the end of the semester with free shipping as long as you hang onto the box the books originally came in.

To avoid losing money when you go to sell your books back, one editor has used to e-bay to sell their books and actually made more money than they would have had they gone to the bookstore during the buyback period.

There is also a Facebook page where students can buy books off of one another, which is another option that could be beneficial to both parties.

In a recent USA Today article about alternative textbook options, it mentioned a startup company called Boundless, which is slowly growing in popularity. Boundless recreates textbook information by using free open source material, which students can access on their tablet or laptop. With tablets and e-readers growing more popular, we could see digital books, like the ones offered by Boundless, becoming more of an option in the future.

Many editors would like to see the University put forth a program where student can buy digital books for their tablets or e-readers. The University can set up their own portal where student cans buy these books at a cheaper price and MU can still make money at the same time.

After having to spend high amounts of money on tuition and other school expenses, books should be the least of your worries and shouldn’t put your wallet in even more pain.

Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151