We can all agree that prices on everything are rising but the rate of increase is worse when textbooks are involved. The amount of money that you usually resell textbooks for is much lower that the initial cost, which is putting more financial pressure on students. We all want to recover the money, or most of it, that we spent on a book after we are done with it. When the amount you can sell it for is not even a third of the initial NEW cost then you will be at a great loss. We will look at the average amount students spend in a year and the options they have to reduce their expenses.
New textbooks often cost somewhere between $100 and $200, but sometimes less or more. There are books that are priced at as much as $2,000. Students who purchase an average of 5 books per semester will usually spend something between $500 to $1000 dollars. This will amount to somewhere between $1500 and $3000 in a 3 semester academic year (including summer classes). Most students work part time to meet their expenses. Working for $10 per hour could mean an average of $800 to $1200 per month income after taxes are deducted. Textbooks can eat away at that income quickly.
Some students do not have access to jobs or wealthy family members, and thus do not have this kind of money. The only option left is to go for students loans to cover their expenses on textbooks. The disadvantage with student loans is that they will have to be paid back in the future and this is a great burden for people who do not land the perfect jobs with great salaries. When repaying the student loan with interest, the ultimate cost of the textbook could be 3 to 4 times the actual price paid, which means you will be paying about $300 or $400 for a textbook that originally cost just $100.
It depends on the major, but many courses of study take about 44 classes for a student to graduate, which means he or she will need 44 textbooks + lab manuals + workbooks. This can be translated to about $4000 to $5000 on average, which is no small amount for a student to spend on textbooks alone. The total cost paid is much higher over time when student loans are involved.
One of the main factors that increases the average amount of dollars spent on textbooks is the revision factor. In many subjects, a new revision comes out each year and it is required that all the students have the new books. Thus, these students will have to spend quite a lot of money purchasing new books that most likely have the same or similar information published in a different manner.