“I bought my nutrition book directly off the McGraw (publishers) website,” Malen said. “I want to say the book cost me about $80 and the bookstore price was over $100.”
Since 2002, the price of college textbooks has increased 82 percent, according to a 2013 report on college textbook costs issued by the Government Accountability Office. In response, the outcome has been weighing heavily on students’ wallets for more than a decade.
To purchase her books at lower rates, Malen, a Sterling Heights senior, looks at less expensive options. With the kind of savings offered by online sellers, those options are well worth the extra effort.
Malen uses Amazon.com or, if they have what she’s looking for, checks the Student Book Exchange, located at 209 E. Bellows, to find her textbooks.
However, after looking elsewhere for cheaper prices, Malen can’t get away from the high cost of books. So far she has paid $200 for rented textbooks for her four classes this semester.
For students like Joe Julet, a Berkley senior, going online and getting a cheaper price isn’t enough to save a buck.
Julet writes down the bookstore’s prices for materials he needs before comparing them with sites such as Chegg.com, Amazon.com or Textbookrentals.com.
“I find I save at least 50 percent on what I would be paying at the bookstore,” he said. “My science book for this semester was $200 and you could rent it from Amazon starting at $45.”
When the semester ends, he uses a site called Valorebooks.com to sell back his books. He’s waiting for at least one check, worth $25, while having received another for $30 after selling back books he used last semester.