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Over $300 for one textbook.  The book costs more than the course.

 

Luckily, we found a used rental for a tenth of the price.  Still had to buy the access code though, which was nearly $100.

 

*grumble grumble*

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That is so frustrating! I am just astounded by the textbook market these days. The constant introduction of new versions, the codes, requiring students to pay exorbitant prices for books and then not be able to sell them because the version changed or the code isn't with it. It is all incredibly frustrating.

 

At the same time, I love that some schools are pushing back. Ds's school has been great about textbook costs. In fact, he got an email Monday from one of his teachers saying the bookstore has the newest edition of the book he requires, but please feel free to use the prior edition since the new one is so expensive. His teachers have consistently been great about choosing less expensive books and allowing previous version/not requiring codes. I think this is due in part to it being a small private school with small class sizes, so the teachers actually have time to grade and give feedback and deal with question that arise from slight page number changes, etc. 

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Ds's school has been great about textbook costs. ... His teachers have consistently been great about choosing less expensive books and allowing previous version/not requiring codes. I think this is due in part to it being a small private school with small class sizes, so the teachers actually have time to grade and give feedback and deal with question that arise from slight page number changes, etc.

That sounds wonderful! Which college is this, if you don't mind sharing?

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When I was a student, I complained about this to a group of professors when we were sitting around chatting.   They hated it too.  All of them were perfectly happy with the existing edition.   But, the college bookstore was what mandated it.  Even for the college bookstore, it wasn't entirely profit driven.   The bookstore needed to get X number of Y book in stock.  The publisher wouldn't sell the previous edition, and they couldn't be certain of getting enough of the previous edition in.  Of course, the bookstore also liked an excuse to not have to deal with Used books for some of the books stocked.  

 

But, the professors would also sometimes change the textbook to get the freebies.  If they put out the word that they were considering a new text for their, say Optics, class.   They would get a dozen free Optics books.   They would then put these books in their lab for their student slaves to use.  

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Many departments in our school are pushing back too. History is one major that rarely needs expensive textbooks, we might buy several books, but they are content specific and not $300 each. Ds has been happy as one of his computer science texts was used over two courses and his advisor, math, rarely requires a text as creates his own content. 

 

Part of the issue for our school is as mentioned above, used copies can be harder and more time consuming for the bookstore to get. 

 

My French textbook this semester is $200. I'm not too happy as we've had no texts for the last two classes. We need an access code though and that is the bulk of the cost. 

 

It's a racket and I do hope it will change in the next few years. 

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We recently toured a campus (public U) and the admissions counselor and student guides stressed that the students could save a LOT of money by using the library to check out reserved texts and scanning them. I know my kids prefer their own hardcopies but this would definitely save a lot of money....is this uncommon at colleges?

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We recently toured a campus (public U) and the admissions counselor and student guides stressed that the students could save a LOT of money by using the library to check out reserved texts and scanning them. I know my kids prefer their own hardcopies but this would definitely save a lot of money....is this uncommon at colleges?

 

I teach at a university and we are not allowed to put textbooks on reserve.  Trade books that are used in a course are fine, but not textbooks.  

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We recently toured a campus (public U) and the admissions counselor and student guides stressed that the students could save a LOT of money by using the library to check out reserved texts and scanning them. I know my kids prefer their own hardcopies but this would definitely save a lot of money....is this uncommon at colleges?

 

Scanning them?  How exactly would they do that?

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Scanning them?  How exactly would they do that?

I guess they could scan the pages into a pdf file or something and then put them on a usb to view on their computer. There were scanners/printers right by the reserved checkout area in the library.

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I guess they could scan the pages into a pdf file or something and then put them on a usb to view on their computer. There were scanners/printers right by the reserved checkout area in the library.

 

Wouldn't that be a copyright violation?

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Wouldn't that be a copyright violation?

 

 

Afaik, yes, it would be. Doing that for a few pages would not, but an entire book? Yes. 

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That is so frustrating! I am just astounded by the textbook market these days. The constant introduction of new versions, the codes, requiring students to pay exorbitant prices for books and then not be able to sell them because the version changed or the code isn't with it. It is all incredibly frustrating.

 

At the same time, I love that some schools are pushing back. Ds's school has been great about textbook costs. In fact, he got an email Monday from one of his teachers saying the bookstore has the newest edition of the book he requires, but please feel free to use the prior edition since the new one is so expensive. His teachers have consistently been great about choosing less expensive books and allowing previous version/not requiring codes. I think this is due in part to it being a small private school with small class sizes, so the teachers actually have time to grade and give feedback and deal with question that arise from slight page number changes, etc.

Most teachers did this when I was in school save one. He said we needed the newest edition. A classmate had to buy an earlier edition because his 3 year old got a hold of it. Needless to say there was nothing different.

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Afaik, yes, it would be. Doing that for a few pages would not, but an entire book? Yes. 

I think so too. I got the impression that maybe they meant the students would copy the pages as needed.

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That sounds wonderful! Which college is this, if you don't mind sharing?

 

He goes to Drury University in Springfield, MO. It has been a great choice for him!

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Most teachers did this when I was in school save one. He said we needed the newest edition. A classmate had to buy an earlier edition because his 3 year old got a hold of it. Needless to say there was nothing different.

 

I'd found that there was always someone that brought their book to class.   You could flip through their latest edition book right before class started and see that they were the same.  

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I'd found that there was always someone that brought their book to class. You could flip through their latest edition book right before class started and see that they were the same.

We compared and the problem set for my kid’s Lay’s Linear Algebra with Applications textbook differ in the editions so we would have needed to borrow a copy from inter library loan and photocopy the problem sets pages. We managed to buy a as good as new used copy for $13.

 

Giancoli Physics for Scientist and Engineers is another textbook that shuffles the problem sets between editions so you need to borrow the correct edition to photocopy the problem pages.

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They would then put these books in their lab for their student slaves to use.  

:lol:

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We compared and the problem set for my kid’s Lay’s Linear Algebra with Applications textbook differ in the editions so we would have needed to borrow a copy from inter library loan and photocopy the problem sets pages. We managed to buy a as good as new used copy for $13.

 

Giancoli Physics for Scientist and Engineers is another textbook that shuffles the problem sets between editions so you need to borrow the correct edition to photocopy the problem pages.

 

That is just evil.   Reordering the problem sets.   That has to annoy the professors, too.  

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I guess they could scan the pages into a pdf file or something and then put them on a usb to view on their computer. There were scanners/printers right by the reserved checkout area in the library.

 

Um..this would take FOREVER.  Scanning is not particularly quick.

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That is just evil. Reordering the problem sets. That has to annoy the professors, too.

That's why I loved teachers that would require the prior edition. I got Astronomy Today for $9

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From what I understand, they have to go with an edition that is still being produced otherwise there is a risk that not all students can get a copy. 

 

What really chaps my rear is how often I buy books that don't get used much.  Even in the previous math classes, reading was never assigned, a few problems were assigned here or there (that the teacher never went over) and they just made up their own practice sheets.  One could have absolutely gotten away without having the book at all.  I did want the book and did all problems (and I got a teacher solution manual which might not be nice of me but I did use it appropriately and I felt justified since the teacher never went over the problems in the book so I had to have some way of doing so).

 

 

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What I absolutely hate is campus-specific editions, especially loose-leaf ones. For all that the CA legislature passes “nanny state†laws, this is something that they could actually something about and they have not. The state’s public colleges should not be allowed to use campus-specific editions unless they get special permission with some really good justification for why the standard edition won’t suffice

 

 

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What I absolutely hate is campus-specific editions, especially loose-leaf ones. For all that the CA legislature passes “nanny state†laws, this is something that they could actually something about and they have not. The state’s public colleges should not be allowed to use campus-specific editions unless they get special permission with some really good justification for why the standard edition won’t suffice

 

Yeah, we just experienced our first campus-specific edition. It's unusable after the semester because it has to be purchased new with the code--they don't buy them back. Blah. Our school doesn't usually do that, so I don't know why this class did. 

 

I don't really care for loose-leaf books either but I've at least been able to resell some of those on Amazon.

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I did just find a new thing our bookstore has implemented, they will price match in stock books from Amazon or BN (technically, they're a BN store anyway). They do not do access codes. I'm not sure how it will work, but I'm trying it tomorrow. I printed off copies showing lower prices. I'll report back, but you might check on that for those who like to buy in person. 

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I did just find a new thing our bookstore has implemented, they will price match in stock books from Amazon or BN (technically, they're a BN store anyway). They do not do access codes. I'm not sure how it will work, but I'm trying it tomorrow. I printed off copies showing lower prices. I'll report back, but you might check on that for those who like to buy in person. 

 

Dd's school does this too. She has had limited success with it because it doesn't apply for codes, rentals, and used books, but her boyfriend has gotten all his books this way.

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My dh occasionally teaches math at a small college.  He recently found some open-source textbooks that are free and available on-line.  He asked the Powers That Be if he could switch to the free textbooks and they were absolutely on-board.

 

He is having to re-do some of his class preparation to accommodate the format of the "new" text, but he is willing to do it to save his students $$$.

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Um..this would take FOREVER.  Scanning is not particularly quick.

 

If the entire book is used, yes.   

 

I used to photocopy some of the textbooks.   In hindsight what I did was usually illegal. I think the legal limit is 10% of the book.   But, the time factor wasn't a problem.   I'd get the syllabus from the prof before class started.  Buy the book at the bookstore, photocopy the used pages.   Two pages would fit on one photocopy page.   Then I'd return the book.  I'd put the chapter of the book in the same binder as the notes and homework for that chapter.  Having the 'book' right there was handy enough that I started doing that even when I owned the book.   

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Uggh.  I hear you.  I just spent $400 on books for my Anatomy and Physiology class this semester.  1 class!  And the class required the 2017 edition, for which there were no used copies to be found.  At least I can use these books for A & P 2 this summer.  

 

 

What I absolutely hate is campus-specific editions, especially loose-leaf ones. For all that the CA legislature passes “nanny state†laws, this is something that they could actually something about and they have not. The state’s public colleges should not be allowed to use campus-specific editions unless they get special permission with some really good justification for why the standard edition won’t suffice


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Our community college is known for doing this.  It bugs me to no end.  I had to spend over $100 on a Spanish text book for dd that was loose leaf and specific to this college.  Why?  There aren't a ton of fantastic Spanish text books around to choose from?    I will likely have to take a math class before applying to my program (despite having a BS in Math) and the book is specific to the college.  I am still dumfounded that they haven't found a way to waive this requirement.  

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I will likely have to take a math class before applying to my program (despite having a BS in Math) and the book is specific to the college.  I am still dumfounded that they haven't found a way to waive this requirement.  

 

 

Could you ask the department offering the class if you can try to test out of the class? Some university departments will let you - at UB I think the fee is $50 (but you have to be enrolled).

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Could you ask the department offering the class if you can try to test out of the class? Some university departments will let you - at UB I think the fee is $50 (but you have to be enrolled).

The current policy is no.  It is stupid.  I'm hoping to appeal that.  I have 15 months before I can apply, so I have time.  

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I did just find a new thing our bookstore has implemented, they will price match in stock books from Amazon or BN (technically, they're a BN store anyway). They do not do access codes. I'm not sure how it will work, but I'm trying it tomorrow. I printed off copies showing lower prices. I'll report back, but you might check on that for those who like to buy in person. 

 

I was able to use price matching yesterday. However, a few of the books, two trade paperbacks, they only had used copies and my price match was for new. The Amazon price for new was less than the used at the bookstore and I'd rather have new copies, so I'll just order those on my own. I ended up saving about $30 on 3 other books, not textbooks. 

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The current policy is no.  It is stupid.  I'm hoping to appeal that.  I have 15 months before I can apply, so I have time.  

 

I feel your pain. For my 2nd bachelor's, I had to take "Language Science" aka grammar 101. I tried hard to get out of it- petitioning to take the exams, submitting the syllabus for a linguistics class I'd taken that had included a syntax module, etc., etc. No luck. I ended up having to spend $1000 and a semester of "busywork" to learn exactly ONE thing: "particles".

 

FTR, particles are words that are part of certain verbs like "put on" and "take out". They are different from prepositions because they are not part of a phrase modifying the subject or predicate but are instead part of the verb. I took out the trash ("out" is a particle) vs. I went out the door ("out" is a preposition).

 

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I feel your pain. For my 2nd bachelor's, I had to take "Language Science" aka grammar 101. I tried hard to get out of it- petitioning to take the exams, submitting the syllabus for a linguistics class I'd taken that had included a syntax module, etc., etc. No luck. I ended up having to spend $1000 and a semester of "busywork" to learn exactly ONE thing: "particles".

 

FTR, particles are words that are part of certain verbs like "put on" and "take out". They are different from prepositions because they are not part of a phrase modifying the subject or predicate but are instead part of the verb. I took out the trash ("out" is a particle) vs. I went out the door ("out" is a preposition).

 

Some pictures are worth a thousand words. Some words are worth a thousand dollars...

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I ended up having to spend $1000 and a semester of "busywork" to learn exactly ONE thing: "particles".

 

FTR, particles are words that are part of certain verbs like "put on" and "take out". 

In Singapore, these are taught as phrasal verbs. No charge for teaching you another new term. ;)

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Afaik, yes, it would be. Doing that for a few pages would not, but an entire book? Yes. 

 

We've been told we can only scan one chapter of a book...not the entire book.

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