Rising Textbook Costs Send Students Online for Book Purchases – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Rising Textbook Costs Send Students Online for Book Purchases

William Smith senior Alyssa Carlson saved about $140 this semester by buying her textbooks online. Ross Offinger, a senior political science major, spends anywhere from $250 to $400 on textbooks every semester. The cost of college textbooks keeps rising, at a rate higher than the inflation rate according to the Feb. 14 Finger Lakes Times article “Oh, those climbing textbook fees.”

“At amazon.com, you can get the same book for half price,” said David Droney said, professor of biology, adding that sometimes online retailers also stock less-expensive soft-cover editions of the same book.

“When I get book orders, I order used textbooks first,” said Donna Schroeder, assistant manager and textbook buyer at the College Store. She believes that publishing companies are tacking on too many unnecessary supplemental materials, which students have to buy new even if they can get the textbook used.

Catherine Gallouet, chair of the French and francophone studies department, used to cap the cost of materials for any of her classes at $50 but said textbook prices have been rising so fast that finding any sort of maximum cost has become next to impossible. She does believe the workbooks and CDs are vital for language study.