How Textbook Costs Have Ripple Effects on Other Academic Decisions for Students

WRITTEN BY: Editorial Staff
Image Source: via Flickr

It's no secret that college is more expensive than ever, but an expense that many students don't anticipate to cost so much is textbooks! Just one book for one class can run a cool $250, and in some cases much more than that. Unfortunately for students, they absolutely have to have these books in order to get through their classes, which means having to learn extreme budgeting and sacrifice other things that they want and need. If you're a parent with a teen that is about to go to college, or are about to go to college yourself, then it's important to know how the cost of textbooks can affect other areas of your academic life.

1. Classes that are Chosen

When a simple book can cost hundreds of dollars, that can mean spending thousands of extra for all of your classes, PER SEMESTER. This is why so many students are starting to either attend fewer classes or take cheaper classes while they are in school. Sometimes it's just not financially possible for them to take the number of and type of classes they would like, especially with this extra cost factored in. Unfortunately for students, this can result in a hit in their college resume, as sometimes not taking a class can mean not getting a job or into a graduate school.

2. Failing Classes

A lot of students will rent textbooks or buy those that are used, but if that is not an option, then some end up not purchasing the books all together. While sometimes they can get by and still earn good grades without the books, this isn't always the case. So, some students that risk not getting the book they need end up failing that class, and wasting the money that they paid for it in the first place. That bad grade can look bad to future employers, and will only result in spending more time in college (which means more tuition).

3. Changing Majors

If a student realizes early on that textbooks for the classes they NEED to take for their major are going to be too expensive, then they could end up changing their major all together. This is obviously not a choice that students want to make, but it's necessary when costs for books are just too high for them to afford. If a student realizes too late down the road that costs for their higher-level class textbooks are too expensive, then they run the risk of not being able to get the books that they need. This can mean having a lot of academic problems, and either getting bad grades or needing to re-take classes more than once.

4. Accommodating Costs

For those who choose to purchase the expensive textbooks that they need, they are left taking on the financial burden. For some this means adding to their student loans, while for others it means taking on a job and cutting class time. Either way, that extra money can add a lot of stress, and that can mean not getting very good grades, and missing out on a lot of important material due to being too busy or distracted.

Author: Alex P - a former student - now working as a part time researcher and advisor for University textbooks online resources for students at Jekkle.