Rising costs of college textbooks is a significant problem for students of Florida National University that has to be addressed to reduce the financial pressures that can damage academic performance. The question of ever-increasing costs of tuition has been discussed ad nauseam in media over the last decade; however, it seems, that the issue of the financial burden that has been put on students by the rise of book prices has been omitted from the public discourse. Recently, there have been only a few publications dedicated to this problem in the mainstream press. Considering how important the issue of the rising costs of college textbooks for an average student of Florida National University is, it has to be discussed at length on the university campus.
It can be argued that students forced to pay for textbooks, prices of which have skyrocketed over the last decade, experience problems with their academic performance. According to the PIRG report “Fixing the Broken Textbook Market”, nearly seventy percent of college students opted against purchasing a textbook because of its high price (Weisbaum par.6). Almost fifty percent of the respondents of the same survey reported that the cost of college textbooks was an important factor in the decision on how many classes they took (Weisbaum par.7). The findings of the report showed that the majority of students were willing to risk their grades to skip the purchasing of an expensive textbook (Weisbaum par.7).
There is a notion that educational resources available over the Internet will soon render traditional textbooks obsolete; however, until this happens, the university faculty has to facilitate the problem resolution process. A report published by the National Association of College Stores (NACAS) showed that college students were paying $655 on average for their textbooks in 2012, which constituted an approximately ten percent decrease in comparison with the previous year’s numbers (Weissman par. 3). The NACAS claims that the reduction in annual spending on educational materials was brought about because they promoted used books (Weissman par. 3). It stands to reason that if Florida National University and its students concentrate their efforts on the spread of second-hand books, the literature expenses could be cut even more. It is an indisputable fact that publishing modern academic textbooks is an enterprise that requires significant financial resources making the products extremely expensive (Weissman par. 3). However, because of the unscrupulous marketing practices, the costs of textbooks have been driven up far above their real market value (Weissman par. 3). According to a contributor of Slate Kevin Carey, college students are similar to the patients who do not have any other choice but to pay for expensive drug prescriptions (qtd. in Weissman par. 2). He also argues that the practice of “bundling textbooks with software” excludes the option of using second-hand books (qtd. in Weissman par. 2). Therefore, it can be said that this marketing strategy increases publishers’ profits at the expense of academic performance.
Ever-increasing costs of college textbooks is a considerable issue for the majority of students of Florida National University. It has to be properly addressed by the university faculty to assist their students in improving academic performance. The promotion of the use of second-hand books could significantly reduce the decline in educational achievement thus helping the institution to attain its main learning outcomes. Moreover, the popularization of the used textbooks could create a positive ripple effect for the entire nation.
Weisbaum, Herb. Cost of College Textbooks out of Control, Group Says. 2014 Web.
Weissman, Jordan. Why Are College Textbooks so Absurdly Expensive? 2013. Web.