Sunday, March 28, 2010

The billion dollar textbook industry

The cost of tuition at Bowling Green State University is on the rise. Every year Bowling Green State University has yet another reason to charge students. Whether the fee is for the school’s renovations or for printing costs, students are being bombarded with additional fees. As students prepare for school they seem to forgot one of the biggest money scams of all, the textbook scam. The cost of textbooks add another huge cost to college! I understand this is not necessarily a “Bowling Green State University rip-off” however it adds to the overall cost of college and essentially adds to the overall “rip off.” The price of college text books affect students across the country.

According to, a U.S. University directory, on average students at Bowling Green University spend around $1,440 on textbooks (about $700 a semester). I understand the University does not have much control of the price of textbooks however there are many things BGSU can do to ensure students are getting their money worth.

I have been a student at Bowling Green State University for four years. My freshman year of college I purchased all of the “required” books and spent around $1300. When I say “required” I mean my teachers actually said, “This book is required. You need to have it for the class.” Out of the seven books I purchased I only used three of them (not because I didn’t feel like doing the work but because we simply did not use them). Every year after my freshman year I have refused to buy a single textbook until my professor assigns homework that requires using the book. Doing so, I have saved thousands of dollars! Some teachers also require multiple books for the class. Sometimes the class will only cover one or two chapters from the book? Would it kill a teacher to make copies for students?

Teachers and facility at BGSU need to be truthful with students. If we are not going to use the book then do not make it required. Please save us the hundred dollars! I completely understand the point of textbooks and feel they are necessary for getting a good education however teachers do not use them enough. I do not want to buy a book if I will use it once. I would rather skip learning the information from the book and wait until class to learn it.

Some teachers at Bowling Green State University will put the book on reserve at the library for those students who can not afford or do not want to purchase the textbook. Teachers should be required to put a copy of the book on reserve at the library! They have no idea how much this helps.

Students are getting more aggressive about finding alternative methods for getting the textbooks. Many students are finding the same books which are sold overseas at a much lower price. Students are also buying used books and going through websites that sell cheaper books.

Laura T. Coffey, a writer and contributor for the Today Show, wrote an article on the top 10 ways to save on college textbooks. Check it out!

Also, here is an interesting video I found on YouTube. This guy also feels college is a rip-off!


  1. Completely agree. Textbook prices are ridiculously high and outrageous.

    Although, I have not felt the brunt of price like you have. I would say I have averaged about $250-$300 per semester on textbooks and that could be overstating it.

    I do recall one of President Obama's platforms was to limit the increase in textbook prices. Know he has a lot more to be worried about, but it would be nice to take care of.

    Also, the buyback process is horrible. Eachtime you take it back, they won't give you money because of a torn page or a new edition will be released

  2. Amazon and have saved me quite a bit on books. I have also sold them via those sites and gotten more than I would have selling them back to the bookstore.

  3. Bgdawg, it seems like you have broken off from the University's "leash"