Staff Editorial: Driving down textbook costs should be a priority

As students start a new semester and finalize their schedules, they are faced with the pricey task of purchasing textbooks.

Oftentimes, students and families find themselves paying hundreds of dollars each semester for books as a single textbook can approach $200 in the maths and sciences.

Clearly, textbook costs pose too high a financial burden for students.

While there is now a textbook rental option at the bookstore and the list of required texts are posted online even before registration, more can still be done to lower the costs of textbooks.

The best way to help drive down the price of textbooks is for the University to actively work with professors, as they are often unaware of how expensive textbooks can be for students.

One great way to do this is to encourage professors to use cheaper online resources to replace traditional textbooks. There are new online open-source websites that allow students to mix and match different chapters from different texts. Students can highlight online, or even print out pages and chapters for a fee much smaller than the normal cost of a textbook.

Professors can also edit the material and add in important information when they deem it necessary.

Besides online solutions, instructors should also be encouraged to avoid bundled textbook packages, and to consider using old versions of textbooks if the newer editions do not have significant updates.

While the University and many professors are certainly aware of the high cost of textbooks, working together to find cheaper textbooks solutions will serve to relieve the financial burden on students and families.

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