Textbooks challenge students’ bank accounts too much

Books

The first month of each semester provides students with many challenges. Whether it’s circumnavigating Brock’s ever-expanding construction or anxiously stalking the labyrinth that is Mackenzie Chown or frantically dodging the insistent emails from registry reminding you that you have yet to pay, there’s one thing every student dreads — textbooks.

Apparently paying for tuition is not a sufficient offering to the education Gods as we must fork over our hard earned, heavily taxed cash to buy the ever exclusive management textbook.

Textbooks are portrayed as vessels to knowledge and can sometimes be imperative to our success as a student. Of course, we must remember that in typical education, success is viewed simply as the bright red pen mark at the top of your page as opposed to the actual information you’ve acquired.

The average student will spend nearly $700 per year on textbooks in addition to other educational expenses. This innate cost simply provides another barrier of entry to education.

Many students suffer desperately and put themselves in severe financial distress to simply afford tuition merely to make it into their class and be informed they must spend yet again. At some points it seems cheaper simply to buy the diploma.

However, students still try dutifully to equip themselves with their literary weapons of choice whether it be through buy back schemes where you can receive a hefty $2.49 for a $75-dollar book or through hours spent on increasingly dubious Russian copyright websites trying to find a 10-year-old edition of the book that is essential to your degree. In a way these exorbitant costs created a sense of comradery amongst students as they kindly shared their books with one another or photocopied cases to pass to their friends to help split the costs.

This was promptly stamped out by the glorious arrival of the online activation code.

This code which can only be used once allows you to access hidden features and prizes on the publisher’s website. And just in case you didn’t buy it, the 20 per cent of your grade which relies on these online tests is now leaving your grasp as quickly as your monthly book rental fees leave your account.

It’s understandable for lectures to include textbooks into the course syllabus but it’s important to recognize that just because a student doesn’t have the up-to-date textbook doesn’t mean they don’t wish to be an integral part of the class. However, by requiring students to consistently buy the updated version it alienates students from being able to do the required readings. And honestly what is the true difference between the sixth and seventh version? Other than a thirty-dollar increase.

All satire aside when did education become a product? What are those who genuinely can’t afford to spend several hundred dollars on textbooks supposed to do? Education is already a privilege that seems reserved for the middle class and up. Books are supposed to be a passage for everyone to explore the world. While you may not be able to afford a four-year degree surely anyone should be able to simply open a textbook and learn. Education should not be a pay to play industry.

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