Best buy on books

“Each semester students are faced with the cost of college. However, all students know tuition is just the start of what they have to pay for school. Beyond tuition students are asked to pay for lab fees, a parking pass and textbooks. According to New Student Orientation, a University of Akron student, taking between 12 and 15 credits, should budget between $300 and $500 a semester on textbooks.”

Each semester students are faced with the cost of college. However, all students know tuition is just the start of what they have to pay for school. Beyond tuition students are asked to pay for lab fees, a parking pass and textbooks.

According to New Student Orientation, a University of Akron student, taking between 12 and 15 credits, should budget between $300 and $500 a semester on textbooks.

While this is a lot of money, there are ways for students to be smart shoppers and save.

At UA, there is a choice of where to buy books. In addition to the two on campus Barnes and Noble book stores located in the Student Union and the Polsky Building, there is also Campus Book and Supply and The College Store, both located on Exchange Street. Also, many students purchase their books online.

But who creates the prices for books?

John Schuppan, manager at textbooks.com, said book prices come from the publisher and creator of the book. However, he is unsure of how websites such as Amazon and half.com can cut book prices in half.

Schuppan did, however, have advice for students who choose to shop online.

Be careful when shopping online some books are international copies or teacher edition, he said. The best thing to look for is do they stand behind their product.

Barnes and Noble in the Student Union declined to comment on how it establishes its prices.

Tammy Hovey, public relations manager for amazon.com, said that they look to pass on the best saving to students. Hovey stated Amazon offers several ways to help cut the cost for students including free shipping and offering everything students need.

So where can UA students find the cheapest books?

After a comparison of the three bookstores based on two books the winner was Campus Book and Supply. A used literature book – Literature, by Kennedy – had a price of $62.25. This beat The College Store’s $65.75 and Barnes and Noble’s $64.00. A second Psychology book was also compared – Exploring Psychology, by Myers. It was priced at $54.00 used and $72.00 new at Campus Book and Supply. Barnes and Noble had it for $55.00 used and $74.00 new.

Amazon.com was similar in prices selling the literature book for $57.60 used and the psychology book for $55.50 used.

Joanne Dalsanto, manager for The College Store, was excited to hear this news.

Serving the students is always our priority along with offering them as many used textbooks as possible, she said. We are aggressively fighting rising textbook costs by supplying students with a robust used textbook program.

Dalsanto also suggested that students shop early to help cut costs.

We offer a prepay option, where you order your books online or in the store, pay for them in full and we hold them for you to pick up in store, she said. We also offer $10 off for pre-pays.

Some professors, such as Kathleen Endres, a communications professor, does not teach all of her classes with a textbook.

I don’t require a textbook in feature writing because those books are so expensive, Endres said. I really think I can cover the things I need to via the students reading published features.

That allows students to read good – and not so good stories – and then talk about how each can be improved.

Endres said understanding improvements is important to teaching.

I think it also lets students see that even professional writers can improve their work. That’s an important lesson to learn, she said.

While there are those few lucky classes that do not require books, students still have to find creative ways to save money on the books they do have to buy.

Moline Prak, a Biomedical Engineering student, said It’s an extreme hassle to find the cheapest books.

She said she found the search to be annoying and she purchased most of her books online or from a friend who took the class at an earlier date. Prak said that so far this semester she has only spent $100 on books, but she only paid for one book.

Chris Ingram, a Political Science major, said books were cheaper online. However, he also said he had faith in the university bookstores.

I think the bookstores are trying to get fair prices for students.

Ingram said he spent a total of $130 on his textbooks this semester.


” #1.1361387:4081121890.jpg:20080129_barnesnoble_cb.jpg:Barnes and Noble Bookstore in the Student Union:Christopher Bair”