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Dear Pace: Please Stop Making Us Buy Books We Won’t Use

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Textbook and access code needed for Spanish courses at Pace.

Textbook and access code needed for Spanish courses at Pace.

Josiah Darnell

Josiah Darnell

Textbook and access code needed for Spanish courses at Pace.

Josiah Darnell, Opinion Editor

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Textbooks are one of the most controversial topics that college students discuss. The main question asked in that debate is this: Should I buy the textbook or not?

Most classes that students register for usually require some sort of reading material. Then you have classes that can require more than one textbook or workbook. Students understand that a textbook of some sort will be required, but the bigger question is, will that book be used often?

Textbooks are expensive, some more expensive than others. Students would hate to splurge on the book if it is barely used.

Pace requires that every student take a foreign language and with that course, an access code is needed for online content. For some reason, that code is only available to the student if they buy the textbook.

“The textbook was two-hundred and five dollars, it hurt me so much to put that money out,” says junior Brandon Simmons. “What if the textbooks my other classes require are one hundred dollars or more? Where am I getting that money from?” he adds.

The point Simmons makes is an exceptional one. College costs thousands of dollars for tuition alone, and the price of textbooks is just another burden added on top.

“I was taking a financial management class last semester, and the professor encouraged us to get the textbook,” said junior Darius Jones. “The textbook cost one hundred and eighty dollars and then halfway through the semester he said we didn’t need the textbook anymore.”

In a situation like that of Jones, it would have been better if the professor just uploaded what he wanted to go over on Blackboard. Instead of this simple solution that ensures every student has the exact same access to and edition of the work assigned, entire classrooms of students are wasting thousands of dollars.

When students pay their bill for the semester, they pay for their classes as well. If the classes cost thousands of dollars, why not include the cost of the textbook in that? Nine times out of ten, scholarship money provided by the school and outside organizations help cover that cost; very rarely do students pay for that themselves. If the professor knows without a doubt that they will use the textbook, just add it to the class bill.

I believe this solution would make life a lot easier for students because it will diminish books as an outside payment and allow students to focus on other college necessities. Textbooks shouldn’t be as much of a burden as they are, but their price and subsequent lack of usage make it so.

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