Every semester, students have to face the decision whether to buy or rent their textbooks. Even though each has its benefits, downsides also come along with each option.
Despite rumors of a proposal by district to include a $75 e-book fee for each course in addition to tuition and fees, Elizabeth Tanner, vice president of Academic Success said it was “just talk,” and Faculty Senate President Joseph Coppola said it seemed to be a dead issue.
With buying books, students can make however many notes they would like inside the margins. On the other hand, if one rents, one would have to keep the textbook in near mint condition in order to return it to the bookstore.
Abigail Carrillo, an Education major and single mother at PAC, said, “I buy my books because I can just pass it off to someone…besides, my kid draws in them sometimes, and I know I can’t sell it back to the bookstore. So buying the books just benefits me in the long run.”
Megan Padron, an Accounting major, said, “I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the books I’d buy, so I find it cheaper to just rent the books and give them back, as opposed to buying them and keeping them. Also, renting, in my opinion, is better than buying for those students who can’t afford to purchase the textbooks.”
Marco Villarreal, a Criminal Justice major said, “I prefer to buy books because, although the price is a little more expensive than renting, I could always resell it back to the bookstore in good condition or sell it to someone else…even hand it down to a friend who would possibly need it for the future.”
Although renting is beneficial for some, other students find buying books more helpful. Students at PAC roughly spend around $1,000 on books and supplies for each semester in school.
Many professors are trying to incorporate free Open Education Resources into their courses to save students money. The resources are available online only, but this would be keen to some students, considering it would save them space in their backpacks and keep money in their wallets. More information is available in the October 2015 issue of The Pulse.
Although many students buy and rent textbooks from the campus bookstore, some students will find cheaper alternatives to either side of the spectrum. For example, Chegg.com is an online book student service, where students can rent, buy or even get tutoring from other students and professors around the country. Amazon.com and Half Price Books also have many options for students to buy and/or rent.
Whether you’re one of the students who rent or buy textbooks, be sure to take into considerations the abundance of options to save money and enjoy the learning experience.