Books become a bigger burden

Our View

It’s time to rent books instead of buy them.

According to Wednesday’s Stater, students spend an average $832 per year on textbooks and supplies — a disgustingly large amount of money for students who are already faced with explosive rises in tuition. Though students can choose not to buy textbooks for classes, many classes require the books, and students’ grades suffer without them.

According to the article, getting the rental program up and running requires a large initial investment, but once implemented, it will save students money. The university needs to make the investment or at least create a timetable for the program’s implementation. Set aside a set amount of money for the next few years so our freshman counterparts can reap the benefits. Considering the direction of textbook prices over the years, it’s safe to say the cost will only continue to skyrocket at an incredible pace.

It’s like insurance. A bunch of people pay into a pot of money that can be used to increase the individual’s purchasing power. Pre-med students will have more expensive books than English majors, but both will benefit from the pooled resources.

Other universities that implemented the program gather the money through a tuition fee, and uninterested students are able to opt out, so fairness isn’t an issue.

Textbook prices continue to skyrocket. Faculty are forced to promote and students are continually forced to purchase the newest edition of textbooks. It doesn’t matter if it’s been five or 50 years, Plato hasn’t had any new revelations since his death. Other schools that implemented the rental program require faculty to use the same edition of textbooks for at least three years. Of course, technology, computer science and other cutting-edge classes are able to order the newest edition if needed, so recent, factual information isn’t a problem.

Ohio, as well as other states, has considered tax credits for textbook purchases. With $832 in textbook costs per year, this could save students more than $60 at Portage County’s 7.25 percent sales tax rate. Though not a sizable sum when considering hundreds of dollars of textbooks, combined with other discounts, this could help.

It may take months or years before students see any form of respite in textbook prices. Until then, students still have some options to pinch as many pennies as possible. Sell and buy books on Undergraduate Student Senate’s Book Exchange Web site: Prices are always cheaper than at the book store, and students are able to sell older editions that the book stores won’t accept.

eBay offers a similar service as the USS Book Exchange with a larger selection. Prices are almost always cheaper than the brick and mortar book store. And of course, if the book store is the only option, buy used.

Administration needs to start paying attention to students’ monetary woes. The book price blow-up shouldn’t detract from the education all students deserve.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.