A friend of mine and I were recently talking about the cost of college. We were comparing the costs of where we went, and by the end of the conversation it became nothing more than us griping about how much books cost. We even compared tactics to get get around those costs.
Still, we both were stumped trying to figure out why the books were so expensive in the first place.
Why Are College Textbooks So Expensive In Texas?
To be fair, they're hella-expensive everywhere. No joke. It's not just a "whichever university you chose" problem.
Doing some digging, I was able to come across some "average" costs.
The average cost at Texas colleges in the 2022 to 2023 year was $1,314. That's according to Univstats. According to them, the cost is up just over 1% over last year. I found one source that listed the price over $2,000. If true, that's insane.
The average cost for just one book in 2022, according to BookScouter, was $136. That's a lot of money for one book.
Is It Weird We've Normalized Looking Up Guides To Get Around The Costs?
Something I find interesting, is that when I talk to people about it I usually get a blanket, "That's just the way it is" type answer. Sure, but we can all admit it's more than just a little insane, right?
When I was in college, I had a class that required a particularly expensive book. A group of us pitched in, bought a used copy, and then we copied the chapters as we needed them. It wound up being cheaper.
A lot cheaper. Then we split what few bucks we made selling the book at the end of the semester.
People rent books, borrow books, just go without books (which I did one semester, and it didn't go well), share books, and so on. The costs of my books every semester was something that I dreaded. It always seemed to eat away at whatever little cash I had left.
There are some programs to help offset costs, and in some cases even let students rent books for free. Though, those programs are few and far between. They're also school-specific.
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