By Michael Rubinson
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Students and faculty at Camden County College express concern about the high price tags on school textbooks.
College students will tell you how expensive they think textbooks are and those attending Camden County College are no different. Max Gutzbezahl, a junior, described how much the cost of these books affects students. “I can only make about $400 a week with my current job. After all of my normal bills and stuff, spending over $600 in books for just this semester was really a stretch.” While Gutzbezahl lives with his parents, he said he still has to put away about $1,500 a month for all of his bills and school costs. That leaves him with only about $100 a month in spare cash.
Students aren’t the only ones who feel burn from these high costs, as Professor Theodore Barthold explained. “For my History 102 course, students need to buy two separate textbooks, but only use one of them for roughly three weeks. I know students have dropped my course just because of the book cost.” When asked about the cost, however, Barthold gave this opinion: “It’s all relative. Yes, the costs of textbooks are higher than before, but if you look at how many sources these books have and figure they have to give those guys a cut of profit, a $100 history book seems sort of cheap.”
So should students at this county college just accept the cost of these books because of how many people the author talked to when getting the information or is there an easier way to obtain their books? One way to cut costs when buying books at the bookstore is to rent them when available. A normal textbook for a History 102 class costs around $100 but can be rented for just under $60. That means a textbook budget could be cut almost in half. When renting isn’t available, other sources include the websites Chegg and Ebay. When shopping on these sites, students reported a consistent savings of a little under 50 percent but were then able to sell back the books.