UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | May 27, 2024

Campus store offers more affordable options to students

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College textbooks are a big priority for students, but due to price it becomes a choice of whether they can afford to dole out hundreds of dollars or fail their classes. 

On average, college students spend between $600 and $1,400 on textbooks each year. According to FUI News, many college students weren’t aware of the high prices of books and find they can’t afford to have the text. In many cases not buying a book is not an option if a student wishes to succeed.

“I [can’t] stop the publishers from making the prices,” said Claudia West, campus store textbook manager. “All I have been asked is to reduce the prices for the students, and that is what they have asked from me and that is the goal.”

The campus store give options to students by breaking down bundles, getting as many used book as they can, using rentals, getting eBooks, and using its website to compare prices and offer online payments. By breaking down bundles, instead of being required to by a textbook, workbook and access code, you can purchase any of the three. This helps students who don’t necessarily need all three resources.

The bookstore also tries to fill its shelves with as many used books as it can to offer a more affordable option. Older textbooks are more readily available, but newer editions might not have been around long enough for used copies to resurface.

“I believe teachers should use each edition for as long as they can, but new discoveries are made daily, and it’s important to stay up to date on them,” said Jandy Johnson, a sophomore mathematics major from Delta.

Professors are able to request that students purchase the latest edition, but the campus store may not have enough of the newest editions to offer one to each student. The newer the textbook, the fewer readily available. 

“I think teachers should keep the year-old editions unless the material absolutely has to be updated — the same information just new books,” said Rebecca Mopadish, a freshman nursing major from Midvale.

Students third option would be to rent a book from the bookstore; the bookstore tries to rent as many books as it can so students don’t have to buy new books and can save money. Ebooks, an electronic version of a specific book that can be read on handheld devices, are more readily available and less expensive when compared to printed books.

Students can also go to the campus store website and see new, used and rentals book prices broken down and compared to outside merchants.

Though the campus store may seem expensive to some, when compared to other sellers it offers a wide array of options and prices. Though Amazon can offer lower prices on some books, campus store employees pride themselves on being the informational hub for students. 

The campus store is self-sustained, meaning it makes money off every sale instead of getting funding from the university. The store makes less than 20 percent on new books and 25 percent on used books. Five percent goes to shipping.

“We are not making that much money on our textbooks anymore,” West said. Nobody could make it on our 20 percent.” 

At the end of the semester, students can take their books back to the bookstore and receive upwards of 50 percent back during the campus store’s buy back events. The resources do not need to have been purchased at the bookstore to be sold back, but international versions are not accepted.

“Some of our prices are better, some higher, some lower; all we ask is to check us out on our website,” West said.