College = Expensive = "I'm a college student" cliche

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by slooksterPSV, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. slooksterPSV macrumors 68040


    Apr 17, 2004
    The Cliche's are true, and believe me, you better have scholarships if you want to go to college. Ok, so my books. I have most of them, I'm missing like 1 or 2 and here's the things. All together it cost 332.67, I paid $300.80 with a check the school issued me, $22.00 cash, and $9.87 from my debit - checking - account. The one book I know what will be in it - C++ how to program fifth edition. Here's the other books I got:
    C++ How to Program (NEW) - 102.00
    Patterns for a Purpose (USED) - 41.05
    Calculus (USED) - 117.00
    Steps to Writing Well (USED) - 53.05

    WHAT THE F***! I'm a poor college student. Well, I thought I'd let you know how everything has went. Talk to you guys later.
  2. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    What used to really annoy me was that a lot of the required texbooks for my course were written by the same lecturers teaching us. So all my hard earned pennies were going towards £40 text books where several pound of each purchase was going straight into the lecturer's pocket.
  3. scem0 macrumors 604


    Jul 16, 2002
    back in NYC!
    Yeah, it's crazy expensive. I just got a $6,000 scholarship, and I still have yet to hear about all the other scholarships I'm eligable for, so I'm really glad. Right now my parents are paying for college, but I'm going to have to pay them back someday. The more scholarships I get, the less time I spend indebted to my parents. :)

    Oh, and Fall of 05 I went to art school. Art supplies are expensive! I spent 400 bucks on (necessary) art supplies in a single semester. Luckily I didn't need to buy any books.

  4. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    I've paid as much as 150.00 for a book that was required for one single class. A visual communications class, at that. :rolleyes:

    Make sure you trade em' in at the end of the semester for dough.
  5. kretzy macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2004
    Canberra, Australia
    This irritates me as well. This year, I've easily spent $900 on textbooks, readers, workbooks etc. But what really frustrates me is that so far I probably could have gotten by without most of them. The only real reason I bought them was because they were "required". I'll try and sell as many as I can at a booksale to maybe get a bit of my money back.
  6. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Yeah, they really screw you with the books, especially since you often times can't sell them back (and even when you do, it's for pennies on the dollar). Part of it is that these books are very limited runs and as such are very expensive to produce due to the low volumes, as well as the fact that they release a new book every couple of years in order to force you to buy a new one.

    I would say I'm surprised more schools haven't gone to e-books, but the revenue loss probably keeps them from even looking to that.
  7. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    I had this on a course that had a 1 and 2 that strached over 2 years. Of course between 1 and 2 a new, much improved version of the book came out! The lecturer was very nice though and provided us with a complete set of the differences we could print out and attach to the book so as we didn't need to buy new ones :)

    To be fair it was a UML book and a newer version of UML became available so the book needed updating.
  8. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    One of my classes has eleven required texts. Overall, I have 43 books I need to buy for this semester. And my school apparently misplaced $1700 of my unsubsidized Stafford Loan *points at his "On Hold" thread in this forum*

    *buys a big ****ing backpack*
  9. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    I've gotten in the habit of ordering my books used of Amazon or eBay ( Save quite a bit of money each time. I've also had some grand ideas for my campus by having a student book exchange program. Let the students sell to each other and cut out the middle man. I know quite a few school across the country have implemented this and has been working well.

  10. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    I stopped buying books after my freshman year. I realized that I could either get by without them, or they were merely supplemental to what the instructor was saying in class. Ended up with a 3.4 GPA even without the books for 80% of my classes. Then again, I took one math class during my 4 years, so your mileage may vary.
  11. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    Damn straight. College bookstore prices are completely absurd. It pisses me off when the campus prints their yearly "OMG NO REALLY BOOK PRICES ARE OKAY" and try to palm it off on the low economy of scale that textbook companies have. Folks, that's ********. My senior thesis (with a print run of five copies) was printed on good paper, glossy-hardbound, in full color.... for $12.50. To suggest that it would cost any more than that per copy of a professional-quality textbook is ludicrous (to me, at least). There's no reason for any book to cost more than $30, especially when it's 8th edition with the same eight commas and three "Did you know?" boxes altered repeatedly in each edition since the 1st edition.

    Which in itself is reason to riot. I've had at least four textbooks which, when compared with the previous edition, had no significant changes whatsoever. "Seventh Edition! Seventh Edition! We switched the orders of Chapters Five and Seven!"
  12. Tanglewood macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    You're new to this aren't you? If you are upset with the cost of your textbooks you can [for the most part] buy them from cheaper places like Getting them from your campus bookstore is probably going to be the most expensive place to get them. and you got a check from the school for $300 and only had to pay about $30 so far with two more books that you still need? So about $200 out of your pocket for all your books I'd say thats pretty good for your first run.

    With that being said here is my book list for this semester. Total cost about $575 (this is including me using a '5% off your entire book purchase coupon' and buying mostly used) and I did buy them from my campus bookstore for convinence factor.

    Statistical Methods vol 1 6th
    Statistical Methods vol 2 6th
    Principles of Managerial Finance Brief 4th w/Finance Works Access Code
    Marketing 2nd : The Core (Custom)
    Organizational Behavor 12th w/Self Assessment Library CD
    HP 17BII Plus Calculator (Not a book, but was on my booklist all the same)
  13. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    Not always. For instance, sometimes demand greatly outweighs supply. I've had a few classes where the books were simply not available on and as you've no doubt noticed, when supply is short, the used prices are higher, sometimes approaching the cost of a new book. Some textbooks (a few of my psych texts) come with included user accounts (which without the book cost the same amount as the book) to an online learning program, which means that reselling the book is virtually impossible. And when a new edition is printed, there's often no way of knowing whether that edition is absolutely required or if an older edition will suffice. If you don't have a couple hundred spare dollars, those that do will buy the cheaper books, so that when you finally get your financial aid checks, there is either no time to have the books shipped to you or all the used books are gone.
  14. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Remember, some may come to find that

    School loans = indentured servitude

    Because they will keep trying to collect until the day you die .... unless you transfer them to credit cards and run away from the payments.
  15. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    It's either indentured servitude for $30-40K or indentured servitude @ $8 per hour for the rest of my life. Even having been a nuclear power plant operator, I apparently have no marketable skills without that li'l piece o' parchment.

    Not that a MA in English Lit is worth all that much more, but ****, at least it's something.
  16. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    Can't always do that... genius textbook makers realize, "Whoa, if we edit two pages, then we can release a new edition that teachers will require and make a bundle more money! Yeah, let's do that!"

    And then no college bookstore will buyback an older revision. :(

    It's not that popular of an idea from the college bookstore's vantage point-- they make money off of selling textbooks new and especially used ones.

    What kills me more than expensive textbooks? Readers. Those simple photocopied and Kinkos-type bound books that cost $40-60, can't be resold, and although so tempting to just take apart and photocopy-- is illegal because of the copyright. Argh.

    And scem0, I know what you mean by pricey art supplies. Groan. Student grade tubes of paint will easily run ya $10 for one. :( And a brush?! $20 easily. *sniff*
  17. savar macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2003
    District of Columbia
    i bought all my textbooks at

    They re-import books from abroad, where they are sold much cheaper than in the U.S. -- like prescription drugs that are re-imported from Canada.

    You really will pay about 50% of what you would pay for new/slightly used books at the campus bookstore. My experience with used books at the campus store is that they buy them back at 25% retail value and then resell them at 75% retail value. A 3x markup for a used book.

    The downside of is that delivery takes nearly 2 weeks -- USPS postage is very cheap for books but also very slow. I used to email my teachers a couple weeks before the semester started and ask for a syllabus. Tell them you're trying to decide if you want to take the class and you want to see what the topics covered/required readings are.
  18. beatsme macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2005
    yea, you CANNOT default on a student loan, even if you declare bankruptcy. Not in the US. And they've got your SSN...they'll find you no matter what you do.

    re: books

    a lot of the price-gouging has to do with the funding issue. The unfortunate truth of public university funding is that if the university has money allocated to be spent on some program or project (say, the library or bookstore), they must spend it or they will not receive the funding during the next fiscal year; to keep getting the money, they must prove that they have a legitimate need to spend it. Thus, if the university has $3M allocated for the purchase of books, they must buy $3M worth of books or risk losing the funding. It makes more sense for them to buy expensive copies of required texts and pass them on to the students (at markup) than it is to come up with an affordable solution.

    this state of affairs readily explains why the steps in front of the student union at my alma mater were torn down and rebuilt annually...they had x amount of dollars for facility improvements, and couldn't think of anything else to spend it on.

    also, most universities require that any book used in a class be available in the campus library. Some professors will load you up with books you'll never use because they want them to be readily available for their own research purposes. It's unfair, but it happens...
  19. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    Jesus Christ... I never even thought about that before.

  20. beatsme macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2005
    #20 mum was director of financial aid, now working in the business office at a small college. She's got all the inside dope.
  21. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    My wife works at the University of Akron library, so she's passed on similar information about the library department... but I had no idea it applied to the university as a whole.

    She got a new computer, a new laser printer, a new phone, a new office chair, and a new desk this year... because the library department was desperate to spend their budget.
  22. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006

    IT as a whole for our college is the same way. We could have gone with Thin Client solutions but instead we got expensive desktops with large hard drives that nobody uses anyway.

    Waste is everywhere. Doesn't matter if it's a school, business, government, etc...
  23. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO

    Last year, there was a book that the campus bookstore wanted $100 for, used. I found it on Amazon for $6. And that price included shipping
  24. NeoMac macrumors regular


    Feb 10, 2006
    Yeah school is expensive. But no matter what happens no one will ever be able to take away your education. It's one of the few ways that can help a person get ahead in this world. To be clear, not everyone needs a formal education to be successful but it never hurts to have one. Plus college is such a great experience, if you are lucky enough to leave home and attend a school. You often learn more outside of class then you do inside. And I honestly believe it is some of the best times a person will ever have. Limited responsibility, tons of free time, new friends, new loves, etc. The debt sucks though. I'll be paying mine off for the next several years, but I have no regrets.
  25. nbs2 macrumors 68030


    Mar 31, 2004
    A geographical oddity
    Echoing yg's cheap solution, check out I started going there while working on my undergrad and used them straight through law school. Saves you a bit of time in trying to find the cheapest location for given books, plus they do the work of calculating shipping and other costs so you can save some time.

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