Why Are University Textbooks So Expensive?

Textbooks are an integral component of university education, but it seems like these tools of learning becoming more expensive every year. The National Association of College Studies points out that the average student spends $655 every year on textbooks. Many courses require expensive books, each of which can cost up to $300, but isn’t that excessive?

In this article, we explore why university textbooks are so expensive, and provide tips to save money for your time at university.

Regular Release of New Editions

Textbooks are expensive because publishers release pricey new editions every year. New versions have reorganized chapters or small changes, which makes it difficult for students to use older editions. The aim is to undermine the second-hand textbook market so that authors and publishers can still draw an income from the material.

Many students can’t risk the purchase of an older edition or contend with the daunting task of matching page numbers and chapters. They opt for the pricey new publications, which can cost up to $150 more.

Professor Preference

Like your favourite games on Goldenslot, university professors have their preferred textbooks and publishers in the field. In most cases, professors are unaware of the cost of the books they recommend for their courses.

Instead of choosing cost-effective textbooks, the teachers choose the material they prefer to use for the classroom style and curriculum. Some professors even assign their own publications as reading material, either to increase sales or out of vanity.

Textbook Publishing Monopoly

Five publishers dominate 80% of the college textbook market in the U.S., including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill Education, Cengage, Wiley, and Pearson.

These top five control contracts with authors, wholesalers, and bookstores, especially when it comes to copyrights. The monopoly obtains exclusive printing and distribution rights, blocking new market entrants and taking the opportunity to control textbook prices, as well.

Tips To Save Money On Textbooks

While textbooks are increasingly expensive, it doesn’t mean that you can’t save money when it comes to purchasing your school materials.

Rent Your Textbooks

Some colleges have come up with ways to help their students find textbooks at friendlier prices. Instead of buying and then reselling books, many university bookstores allow students to rent the textbooks.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on a book that you’ll return at the end of one semester. Textbook rental allows you to use a book for a few months, with strict instructions to return it immediately after the finals.

The cost of renting a book is often much less compared to the cost of purchasing a new one.

Find Free Books

You can find a wide selection of college textbooks for free on sites such as Open Book Project, Online Books Page, and Project Gutenberg.

You may not find all the books you need on these sites, but it can help you save money on many of your textbook purchases.

Final Thoughts

The prices of university textbooks have increased drastically due to factors such as the release of new editions, publishing monopolies, and professor choice. However, you can save money on textbook purchases by renting books or finding free books online.

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