College is a rough time for many students who move out to experience lives on their own. For many of us its the first time we have to deal with serious responsibilities, bills and expenses. On top of what we need to survive (housing and food) we have to deal with the rising price of tuition and textbooks. The cost of textbooks has increased by 82% in the last decade, making it harder and harder for students to be able to afford them. Another issue is the fact that a new, more expensive edition of a book( many times with just an extra chapter or paragraph) comes out practically every year. This makes it so if you buy a book, you cant even resell it; by the time you are done with it, theres another edition out.
Professors almost always “require” a textbook for their classes, even though often the textbook is rarely used. My guess is professors do this to cover themselves; You cant blame them for failing if you had bought the book. These circumstances leave students guessing wether the book will be used in their class or not. When we’re talking about a book that’s close to 200$, many of us think about it. The problem is its hard to tell wether or not you need a book for a class; usually once you fail a test you wish you would have bought it, but by then you may be a little late.
Lawmakers in California have started trying to enact open-textbook laws that allow for free access to select textbooks. The programs have been progressing slowly due to funding problems and getting university faculties to go along with it. However, in my opinion this a great step towards ensuring that education stays affordable and accessible to everyone.