Attending Montclair State University costs $13,762 a year if you live in New Jersey, $22,472 a year if you don’t. And approximately another $11,000 a year if you want to live on campus. And on top of that, another $5,170 a year if you want to eat.
It is safe to assume that every student doesn’t have $30,000 in their piggy bank to pay for their education.
Sure, some are financially stable enough to take out loans and have generous parents, but what about the students that don’t? What about the students who have sacrificed countless hours of sleep, social events and most of their college life to work so they can afford to be here?
Certainly, the answer shouldn’t be increasing the cost of their education by requiring textbooks that cost around a hundred dollars. But to our dismay, it sadly is.
While students struggle to make ends meet, “the textbook publishing industry is valued at $3.10 billion,” Education Data Initiative reports.
So, even if you work hard enough to pay tuition, housing and meal plans, you will always have another required sum of money to fork up. It just never seems to be enough.
Textbooks may seem like a necessity to our education and the large sum of money they cost is just something we have to deal with. In reality, they could actually be hurting the schools that are requiring them. Franklin & Marshall College’s student government wrote to their administration detailing the epidemic of high textbook prices stating that “a great many cases in which students are [dissueded] from joining a class because of the textbook costs.”
It is a shame that students are sacrificing taking classes that could really have benefited them just so they don’t have to buy the required textbook.
However, more and more professors are ditching the traditions of textbooks to accommodate students.
As this movement spreads across the nation, more and more students are being relieved of this financial burden and are able to experience their education at a much less stressful rate.
Natalie Flynn, a professor at Temple University, took the initiative to try and eliminate high-cost textbooks in her classroom. The Seattle Times reports, “Temple officials estimate the effort, which began in 2011 and has gotten buy-in from nearly 90 of the university’s 3,850 full and part-time professors, has saved students $1 million.”
Rutgers University offers professors incentives to reduce the use of required costly textbooks. “Since then, the university estimates 19,300 students at its campuses in Camden, Newark and New Brunswick have benefited and saved $3.5 million.”
There are tons of options to help students learn and save money such as scanning required pages from a textbook and uploading them as a PDF on Canvas. Clearly, ditching the expensive print textbooks wasn’t a loss of education and helped out students greatly.
Montclair State professors, we ask you to consider the financial situations of your students and work toward a future where the lives of all students are considered. Just because students ultimately can afford to come here doesn’t mean they can afford hundreds more in just the first two weeks of the semester to pay for required textbooks.