Students find way around spending for books

Julie Sickel

In a time when tuition costs are rising, Kent State students are finding new ways to survive courses without emptying their wallets to pay for textbooks.

“I currently have not bought any of my books,” said Amanda Fincham, a senior English major. “I’ve been sharing books with people in my classes or friends that I know have some of the older textbooks.”

Fincham is just one of many Kent State students who has delayed buying textbooks this semester because of depleted funds. Instead, she borrows textbooks and class packets from her classmates or friends.

Students like Heather Benya, a freshman mathematics major, or Joe Miller, a freshman exploratory major, were able to find cheaper books from websites like or

More textbooks have become available to students who go online.

Karlie Hepburn, a freshman psychology major, was able to get her textbook for Core Math I online for free.

Zach Lutz, a sophomore English major, only bought one textbook this semester thanks to the University Library.

“In the English department a lot of (required books) are just novels,” Lutz said. “So I’m able to check them out for free from the library.”

For students like Fincham, going without textbooks can create challenges.

“It’s really hard,” Fincham said. “I have to have this 50-page article read today and now I’m going to have to give it back and hope that my friend finishes the next 50-page article before the next class so that I can read it.”

Many students who delay buying books contend that lacking a textbook doesn’t always mean a poor grade.

“You know what, sometimes I don’t even need some of my books,” said Joseph Vaughn, a senior early childhood education major. “I feel like my grade might’ve suffered a little bit without a book, but not a whole letter grade.”

Maria Cavileer, a senior human development and family studies major, said she is avoiding buying a $200 textbook because her friend said she never used the book for that same class.

“It’s just not worth it if we don’t use it,” Cavileer said. “My friend said she passed just fine.”

Not all professors at Kent State are unaware of the plight that many students face trying to pay for books.

Paul Albanese, associate professor of marketing, has shied away from using a required textbook for his classes. He instead “recommends” that his students buy the textbook, which he has chosen for its low price of $55 for a new book.

“I don’t tell them not to buy or buy it, I just tell them that I think they’ll do better if they buy it,” Albanese said. “The textbook has more illustrations, more advertisements; it just gives (students) a bigger picture.”

Albanese also recommends that students ask their professors if they can buy an earlier edition textbook for the class to save money.

Contact Julie Sickel at [email protected].