A long term solution to beat textbook prices


20040408_TEXTBOOK_COSTS

Textbooks cause extensive damage to student budgets every semester.

Art Corral, 31, president of the honor society Alpha Gamma Sigma, believes that publishers have strong-armed the market into overpricing textbooks. “I have every bit of confidence that if the school could, they would sell us books at a much cheaper price,” Corral said.

Despite this, the price of textbooks does not have to result in an empty wallet. Students have a number of options available to help them to avoid paying full price for their course materials.

Corral may be able to avoid purchasing textbooks this semester altogether because of their high cost. Instead, he can check out his textbooks from Citrus College’s Hayden Memorial Library. “I did it one semester for a couple books,” Corral said. “It just meant that I had to adjust my schedule to make it work.”

Citrus College students can borrow textbooks to use within the library for up to two hours at a time. This time is occasionally reduced if the book is in high demand.

Though the library does not issue late fees, students who turn in overdue textbooks twice may have their textbook borrowing privileges revoked for the remainder of the semester.

Raymond Espinoza, 18, a marine biology major, purchases most of his textbooks online with the intent of selling them to other students once the semester is through. “I usually buy only the math books from the bookstore,” Espinoza said. “I usually look online to get a cheaper price.”

New and used textbooks may be purchased or rented from the Owl Bookshop. Additionally, students who are waiting for their financial aid checks can make purchases from the bookstore directly out of their Pell Grants using their Student IDs.

Last semester, 30 percent of ASCC’s budget came from bookstore profits. This money is used to fund programs and events on campus.

Purchasing textbooks from the bookstore is not for everyone. Reuben Rodriguez, 19, sociology major, avoids buying books from the Owl Bookshop whenever possible. “I purchase them from Chegg.com or I go to a private seller,” Rodriguez said. “The books are very expensive and obviously you can’t bargain the price.”

Rodriguez also uses a Facebook group called “Citrus College—The Textbook Exchange” to sell and trade textbooks with the other 177 members of the group.

Ashley Mu, 22, a social behavioral science major, also purchases textbooks online. “If I really need the book I will go to Amazon and order to most inexpensive copy,” Mu said.

To help with buying and renting books online, websites such as bigwords.com or slugbooks.com can automatically find and compare the cheapest textbook prices from groups of online stores.

There are also open posting areas all around Citrus College. Students can use these to freely advertize textbooks they are looking to buy or sell. These areas are cleared off once every two weeks.

Library hours are Mondays and Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 pm. Bookstore hours are from Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 pm.

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