Why College Textbooks Are So Expensive | So Expensive
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Why College Textbooks Are So Expensive | So Expensive


– [Narrator] So, it’s the
start of a brand new semester. Your teacher hands you your syllabus, and yup, you’re going to
spend $150 on a textbook for a class you don’t care about. Turns out, it’s not unreasonable for some four-year college students to spend close to $500
a year on textbooks, and it doesn’t seem like prices are coming down any time soon. Textbook costs rose 67% from 2008 to 2018, which is putting a serious
strain on students’ wallets. But how did the college
textbook publishing industry become so pricey? Almost 80% of the textbook industry is dominated by five major publishers, and they’re doing
everything in their power to make sure that students
keep buying new textbooks. To save money, college
students started buying used textbooks for cheaper or
rented them from bookstores, but publishers took notice and started bundling new textbooks with special codes that restricted access, forcing students to buy new textbooks at the full retail price. One study reported that 67% of students skipped buying textbooks altogether because of rising prices
and restrictive codes, and that’s not the only
thing publishers have done to get students to buy new textbooks. There used to be a new edition
update every five years, but now, the production
cycle has been shortened to two or three years. New editions have reordered chapters or changes in page numbers, making it harder to use older editions, and they can cost up to $150 more, but students have some
other options to consider if they want to avoid expensive textbooks. Some schools are starting
to use open-source educational materials instead
of traditional textbooks. That way, students can
access open license texts, digital media, and
other learning materials for a fraction of the cost, but the movement is still in its infancy. So far, only 6% of schools are
using these open resources. It may be a while before we
see textbook prices drop, so for now, you may
have to shell over $150 for a textbook you
probably won’t even read.

About James Carlton

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100 thoughts on “Why College Textbooks Are So Expensive | So Expensive

  1. My last year at University I stopped caring about text books and just ordered the previous editions for up to 95% less than the new edition. Didn't seem to cause a problem in my grades.

  2. I've spent over $1000 on textbooks in a semester. The frequently updated ones run about $200 each. Many also have required online counterparts for homework. So there is no piracy optio .

  3. Make a friend in your class who has already bought the textbook. Pay them 20 bucks to borrow the textbook, then take that book to the library and then scan every page onto a jump drive or create a PDF of it. It may take an hour or so of your time, but it's worth it to save a good amount of money.

    Just don't share or send that PDF/jump drive with your friends or classmates. There you have it. You just saved a bundle and stood up to these textbook publishing companies who only care about money and ripping students off.

  4. I feel sorry for everyone undergoing this type of education. The institution in place are basically saying that you can get knowledge if you pay.

  5. "You'll probably spend $150 for a textbook you won't read" If you know you're not even going to read the fuckin' thing then don't fuckin' buy it. It's literally that simple.

  6. I had a professor who told us that the school administration instructed them to use certain book from a certain publisher and it required an access code and he refused to use it he said that he will never make students by unnecessary things and spend money on unnecessary

  7. im a millionaire i dont give a ** about paying an extra 200 for each book. it seems to me like ordinary americans are very poor.

  8. This doesn't explain why they're so high, it simply explains that that the book companies are chosing to price them high

  9. Spending upwards of $30-$50per for 'mandatory' book scams? Let alone hundreds of dollars? Nope. Thats what the internet is for.

  10. textbooks is nothing people leave shools with tons of students loans and they are in debs for years after school …its joke

  11. People in the US don't seem to realise that textbooks are only ridiculously pricey in the US, not elsewhere, since almost ALL publishers have the US version which is insanely overpriced, and the international version which isn't.

  12. The game is afoot. While you chase down those books, designed to keep you in debt, the idea is, you'll turn to lawmakers to bail you out of debt. You'll then vote for change that they never bring up again until the election cycle. The fleecing is painful. At the same time they rip you off by taxing you more. Beat them from within, run against them, but never join them.

  13. Saing that students have other options
    Talks about schools giving other options, which a run on a mill public school doesnt have

  14. Do I give a sh*t? I couldn't care less about American college costs, why is this even being shown to me?

  15. I spent DAYS taking pictures of each page of borrowed textbooks with a camera during undergrad to avoid buying the scams they call textbooks.

  16. Shit yalll buy text books I'm going through my 2 year in university and I've never spent more then 10 dollars on a text book and I take law
    If your gonna have kids my advice teach them how to hack, binary codes if slowly become the world's language

  17. I only bought like a couple of them and “arrrr aye aye capt’an” the rest. Best decision in dental school after reaching my third year. Still graduated.

  18. My son just graduated from college and the total cost for all four years was just under $20,000. He then got a a job 4 weeks later with a starting salary of $84,500. There are cheap colleges. You just have to look.

  19. The video doesn't even answer the question why textbooks are so expensive. I can't believe how many idiots liked this video. Downvoted.

  20. When deciding on schools, try asking about what the textbook situation is like. I bet they are not prepared to answer that!

  21. If I were a teacher I would just buy the book and send it to all the students. I probably already have the book. And it would better low income students chances of making a good grade in the class. Personally that's what I care about tho. Cant speak for actual teachers.

  22. So textbooks are expensive cuz it’s “monopolized” by 5 different companies, and they all agreed to jack up their prices to take as much of a students financial aid as possible (AKA expensive because of greed).

    That’s pretty much what I assumed.

  23. My professors just let us know to tell them if we plan on using an older edition so they can give us the questions from the new books. I think I spent $200 on 4 textbooks last semester.

  24. The rich people up there they don’t care bout people like us,they rather make a profit than caring for the nxt gen of people

  25. And when u live in countryside and also have to pay for home rent cause ur family lives too far away from any schools. Yey, gotta start saving some money.T_T

  26. My sister was doing a vet nursing course (2 yr study) and had to buy a $800 book. Now a couple years later the book is worthless because they have a new edition

  27. One can say the text book is more relevant to assesment than any other internet content which may have been mixed with other grades assesment

  28. Wow! It's pity to see the condition so called developed country!you can come to India dariya ganj ,Delhi,just paying 150 dollars you can buy whole book store😂😂😂😂😂😂🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  29. Even though you spent lot of time, money and effort to get your degree? There is no guarantee that you make money more than you spent on your education!!! Pure business

  30. Information must be free, and every one should have right to use it, when ever they want without any need to pay for anything …. this is digital are after all, whats the point to buy a textbook and then though it in to a garbage can ????

  31. Love watching attempts to prop up obsolete business models — without any real innovation … They will fail. (In this case, they will fail because students have, collectively, vastly more tech. savviness + discretionary time than do publishers … and will find (and spread) ways to circumvent the rent-seeking silliness (e.g., online codes).

  32. Thank god I got almost all of my gen-Ed classes out of the way in high school, and got an art degree. I didn’t buy any textbooks in college.

  33. This is exactly why by my senior year, I didn't even bother buying any of my textbooks because I KNEW I wasn't going to read them, and because I would end up spending an extra 700 dollars just to get them. Also thankfully at my school, a number of professors would have a copy of the text book on reserve at the library so if I absolutely needed to read a part of the book, I could just go there and scan copies and make it into a PDF.

  34. The amount of classes I’ve dropped because the professor would make us buy the 150$ book and the 150$ access code… the best part was that we needed to get the access code to do the “mandatory” work that only counted for 5% of our final grade.

  35. I remember watching this porno once where this college girl had sex to pay for her books. Not too far from reality I guess.

  36. The textbook industry is scarily simaler to the drug industry- in that, like doctors can get kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies, professors can get rewards from publishers for using/requiring that publisher's newest books… And, since the students are basically a captive audience, those publishers can pretty much charge whatever they like for each new edition…

    This isn't a new thing either- I have paid over $300 for two or three required textbooks PER CLASS… twenty years ago! In fact, some of the people and I who were in the same programs pooled our resources and split one book between several people, as the cost of photocopying the entire book was FAR less than buying our own copies! (Think five cents per page photocopied at the school library vs $150 for a 400-600+ page book! (which is $20-$30+ per) (The library's assistants would even do it for us- for a small tip!)

  37. I still have two textbooks from almost a decade ago I can’t sell them bc of age and one of can’t be sold at all (is the textbook with punchholes to put inside your binder)

    Fun fact: I asked a professor if I need a textbook for his class he told me yes

    First day: I didn’t even need it and it couldn’t be bought back bc it was sold as used and it was already old

  38. Don’t forget that the professors are guilty as well. They are the scumbag merchants who require that you buy the new editions.

  39. For example an A&P book is a small fraction out of asia. Same info different cover with NOT FOR SALE IN USA. Schools make about 15% profit in books. Then cover the isbn to keep you from finding it on secondary market. I have seen new issues each semesters. What really pissed me off is when i have to buy a book from the bookstore and it just a copy in a binder. Or a new book with sections missing from the printer.

  40. Your spending $500 a year on textbooks? Please send me a link to where you are buying them, I wish mine were that cheap.

  41. If you write a textbook and want to make it open source and available online, you actually have to PAY A FEE TO MAKE IT OPEN SOURCE

  42. In grade school and high school, teachers keep repeating the word "college, college, college!". They quack like a goose saying the word "college!". The kids grow up and repeat what the big duck taught them to "college! college ! college!" Then the young adults go to college thinking they will be millionaires after completing education and then reality hits.

    1. You're not going to have the dream job you thought you would.
    2. You're not going to make the money that you were "promised" or expected.
    3. You can't wait years for that dream job because you have a huge loan that you have to start paying off right now!

    Sure, education is important to shape the way we think and process information, but getting a degree just for a job is ridiculous!
    The biggest problem in United States Education System is: "Students in this country are being taught WHAT to think and not being taught HOW to think."
    Grade school and high school offers literally no such courses that can help a student think like an individual, but it's all part of the bigger picture! The government wants to raise obedient followers and not opposition that will question and challenge them. The government simply needs a workforce to supply the demands of the economy.

    You don't have to agree with me, but pay attention to the structure and content of educational curriculum to realize for yourself!

  43. My International Edition textbook for a computer-science course from Pearson Edu. cost me 50$, I thought it was expensive until I saw the price on the US edition 180$ and the only difference is paperback/hardback what's up with that?

  44. Why do so many people forget about 2 year(technical schools)? I'm enrolled in a technical college and my books can costs anywhere from $150-$500(without access codes)!

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