STORY BY ADAM ROGAN
It is common knowledge that tuition is only part of what goes into paying for college. Students must also account for room and board and the increasing price of textbooks.
Across the nation, the average college textbook costs $175, totaling about $900 per year on books alone for an average student, according to a FlatWorld Knowledge infographic.
A study conducted by the College Board found that the typical student spends between $1,200 and $1,300 on textbooks and supplies per year in college.
In contrast, the National Association of College Stores found that only about $370 was spent per semester on books — $740 per year — and then only $193 was spent on other supplies. In total, this estimate is $300 less than College Board’s findings.
Part of this discrepancy comes from the fact that most students don’t buy books at full-price. They find used copies online, get them from others who have already taken the course or share the book with a friend in the same class.
Sites like amazon.com and chegg.com sometimes provide cheaper options for students.
English major Sydney Moore spent only $60 on books for this semester.
“I looked on a lot of different websites like Amazon and used books on Barnes & Noble and different book stores,” Moore said.
She also used Drake textbook exchange, a Facebook page, where cheaper used books can be purchased from fellow Bulldogs who had already taken the class, sometimes even for free.
Alyssa Wilkinson, a sophomore and health sciences major, spent $400 her freshman year on books. This year, however, she rented more of her books or bought them from her sorority sisters, dropping her spending down to $125.
Jenna Mastrolonardo, a sophomore biochemistry, cell and molecular biology major, takes a different course of action when it comes to getting her class materials.
“I like the idea of the Facebook groups where people sell their used books,” Mastrolonardo said. “But I feel like it’d be a pain to track all of those books down.”
Mastrolonardo spent $500 on textbooks this semester.
Mastrolonardo still uses the Book Store which offers the best price promise, ensuring that if a better price can be found elsewhere they will match its price and then take another 10 percent off.
“I use the best price thing where if you find it cheaper on Amazon, they will lower the price, but even with that, it can still be pretty expensive,” Mastrolonardo said.