Are college textbooks an overlooked financial challenge?

Photo courtesy of Tess NormanPhoto courtesy of Tess Norman
Photo courtesy of Tess Norman

Photo courtesy of Tess Norman

As the halfway semester point at Winthrop steadily approaches, the focus for many students has turned from getting their class materials to studying for midterms.

However, those who struggled to pay for their books haven’t forgotten about the frenzy that is textbook shopping.

With NBC reporting an increase in textbook prices by a whopping 1,041 percent from January of 1977 to June of 2015, prices are clearly climbing across the board over a span of years.

But how are these price increases affecting students now?

For incoming students, high textbook prices may not be coming as a shock. Freshman Gabby Gardner said that she is overall moderately satisfied with the amount of money she spent.

For many, respite from this financial burden comes in the form of a refund check from Winthrop, issued when a student’s financial aid balance is larger than what they owe the university.

When a student doesn’t receive a refund check, they might have to explore options outside of the on-campus bookstore.

“I didn’t get a refund check this year, so I had to pay for all of my books out of pocket,” junior Sabrina Mateo-Lo said.  “If there hadn’t been discounted versions on Amazon, I probably wouldn’t have gotten all of my books.”

Professor’s policies on textbooks vary but one thing is for sure: they require textbooks for a reason.

The financial implications of purchasing these books can be overlooked in light of the larger costs of college, such as housing and tuition, however, the monetary burden is still relevant and pressing for many students.

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