The Orion

Challenging the required in required reading

Kristina Martinez

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Kristina Martinez


It can be a tricky situation for college students when trying to decide what is necessary for you to buy for school and what is not. A textbook is always seen in the eye of the professor as “required.” But is it really always necessary to buy the textbook for a passing grade?

According to the National Association of College Stores the average college student will spend about $655 on textbooks each school year. College students are always looking for ways to save money, and not buying some of your “required readings” could be one of them.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that a majority of students admitted to not buying at least one of their textbooks due to the prices being too high.

The price of college textbooks has increased dramatically over a little more than three decades. 812 percent to be exact, according to American Enterprise Institute.

As tuition and textbook prices increase it is becoming more difficult for students to be able to afford all of the materials that are “required.”

If you don’t want to risk not buying the book there are plenty of ways to save money when buying, because there is nothing more annoying than spending money that does not need to be spent. There are all kinds of sites now that can help you find your textbook at a decent price, like Chegg or Amazon. The A.S. Bookstore also gives good textbook prices on used and rental textbooks.

Sometimes a professor will have a book on reserve in the library for students to take out for a certain period of time throughout the semester. You could avoid buying the textbook by using the one the library provides.

You can also share the book with a fellow classmate. Both of you can pay half of the book price, which can serve as another reason to make friends in your classes, especially if the teacher only uses the book once in awhile.

Usually, the professor will explain on the first day of class how often you will or will not use the textbook. By the second week into school, you should have a clear idea of how much you need the book. I know students who have passed courses with good grades and never bought the textbook(s) that were required.

Although, there are some professors who use the “required reading” a lot and it can become necessary for you to buy the textbook in order to keep up with the course materials.

Ultimately buying the “required reading” is up to you. Some students can do the homework and tests just fine without the book while others depend on the textbook for a passing grade.

Kristina Martinez can be reached on Twitter @kristinacsuc

There are many ways to help make your textbook buying experience an easier and cheaper one, and cheap is a word college students want to hear regarding almost anything.

Kristina Martinez can be reached at [email protected] or @kristinacsuc on Twitter.

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Challenging the required in required reading