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Students say no to expensive textbooks

November 7, 2015

College is not cheap; in addition to tuition, room and board and personal expenses, purchasing textbooks cuts into students’ bills every semester.

According to The College Board, a full-time undergraduate student typically spends more than $1,200 each year on school textbooks and supplies.

Readily available yet expensive textbooks at the Seton Hall Bookstore has proven to be unattractive as 24 of 30 surveyed SHU students admit to resorting to online textbook sites to make cheaper textbook purchases.

In response to the high costs of textbooks, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois has introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act to provide higher education students and professors with free access to open textbooks. In an article in USA Today, Durbin explained that the bill would make textbooks “available under an open license, allowing professors, students, researchers and others to freely access the material.” This proposed act is part of the Higher Education Act (HEA) that regulates student financial aid programs.

Some Seton Hall students, majoring in science, business and foreign language who are obligated to purchase full priced textbooks for certain classes support this proposed legislation.

Some foreign language books are only bought at full price because of the (required) access code, and can cost as much as $200.

However, more websites are being introduced that make it possible for students to rent or buy used books at cheaper prices.

Only two out of 30 students surveyed responded that they get their textbooks from the University bookstore. 24 out of 30 students said they rent from online textbook rental companies, such as Chegg, Amazon, ValoreBooks, AbeBooks, and Barnes & Nobles.

Many of the 30 surveyed students admitted to navigating sites, such as and, to compare all the prices of the textbooks offered from different companies online.


From → College Finances

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