Textbook prices continue to rise

Students pay outrageous prices for textbooks. Photo credit: Jessica Hubble

It seems each year textbooks increase in price. A statistic from NBC’s review of Bureau of Labor Statistics data found a 1,041 percent increase in the price of textbooks from January 1977 to June 2015.

Highlands Ranch, Colo., junior Ashlyn DeNeui said she has spent as much as $700 on textbooks during one of her semesters at Baylor.

“This year, I decided to look into other sources to purchase my books, like Amazon. It’s just ridiculous how expensive these books are,” DeNeui said, “Especially when some teachers barely even use the books.”

DeNeui was able to save $450 this semester by buying her books through sources other than the Baylor bookstore.

Students have also had to turn to alternative solutions or even go without their textbooks because they simply cannot afford them.

Midland senior Kalli Dickson said she only purchases electronic versions of her textbooks because they are cheaper than paper copies. However, the e-textbooks are much harder to read and study from, Dickson said.

Not only are textbooks pricey, but many are accompanied by a web code to access online lessons and homework assignments to be completed for some classes.

Photo credit: Jessica Hubble

For example, the Spanish 2310 class at Baylor requires a $226 textbook. There is the option of purchasing a used textbook to save money, but the web code alone is still more than $100.

The increase in the price of textbooks seems to have no cap. Students who don’t want to pay full price will need to continue to find cheap and creative ways around conventionally purchasing textbooks through the bookstores.

Allen Pine, manager of the Baylor Bookstore, said the number one complaint received by the store is regarding prices.

“There are a lot of expenses associated with college, and it can be tough to keep within a tight budget,” Pine said. “Our central mission is to ensure all students have access to the materials needed for success.”

Pine said his best advice to students would be to start getting books earlier in order to get the best deals on rented or digital books.

The past two academic years, the Baylor Bookstore has done a price match process where they match the price of qualifying retail competitors offering the same textbook at a lower price.

Pine said the bookstore is open to any feedback on ways to better the serve the campus.

“Our mission at the Baylor Bookstore is the same as the university’s – to recruit, retain and gradate students,” Pine said.