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#TheStruggleIsReal: Book Prices

“The struggle is real” is a common hashtag used all over the internet, in strings of text messages as well as in memes. Now it is becoming an everyday phrase used by college students to describe both minute and serious challenges that they are faced with. This segment is for collegiates to share what they have experienced as undergraduates thus far.

Funds are tight for college students as it is, but with the addition of book prices on top of classes, students are struggling to keep up with their finances.

In an Instagram survey taken by current and former college students, 97% of those surveyed agreed that textbooks are overpriced.

Oftentimes, students can’t even complete mandatory homework assignments without purchasing a textbook and additional studio access card in order to hand in graded assignments online.

Virtual workbooks and assignments are often implemented throughout various courses, especially gen-eds like macroeconomics and computer science. If students don’t purchase them, they could more than likely receive a subpar grade for the entire course.

Montclair State senior television and digital media major, Emma Flusk said, “Books are overpriced! We already pay so much for school and to have that added expense just to be able to complete assignments is ridiculous.”

Alexis Shearer, Senior health science major at Rider University said, “I think they could do better on pricing, especially considering how many they sell each year.”

More and more students are choosing to skip out on book purchases due to hefty pricing. Book rental sites like Bloomsbury Publishing are seemingly implementing new tactics in order to keep their book sales consistent.

Bloomsbury Publishing offers multiple options for students to choose from, whether it be an online book, physical copy or studio access card and pushes affordable options. From personal experience, the website has provided me with six month rentals, solely online for less than 50 dollars. This provided me with online flashcards, quizzes and study terms.

Mike Farrell, a Monmouth University graduate looks at things from a technical aspect.

“What publishing companies are doing now, to make their prices seem much more attractive are e-book rentals where you get a code to access the book online for like six months or a year and when you’re done you don’t have access to it anymore,”said Farrell. “So it avoids the possibility of resale.”

He continued, “So, if you want to do a comparison you can look at the cost of that e-book rental, where the company knows they’ll be continuously getting new renters since it’s impossible to resell a rental. It would show a more realistic idea of what the books should cost if there was no missed opportunity of sales from kids selling the books when they’re done with them. If there was more of the online ebook rentals it would force the price even lower because there would be more competition and a harder choice for teachers when the difference in price between options gets closer.”

Not to mention, books are found to be outdated in comparison to how quickly technology, medicine, and the rest of the world are advancing.

Nick Brown, marketing major at William Paterson University said, “It’s a waste of money, 85 percent of the time we never use them!”

Cassidy Lunney is a fashion studies and journalism student at Montclair State! She is also the fashion + beauty editor for HerCampus Montclair. Aside from fashion, some of her favorite things are her dog, buffalo dip and comedy. Check out some of her content on Instagram: @cassidylunney
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