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Textbooks and Tuition

Danielle Mason

dmason28@radford.edu

According to Collegeboard.com, an average student spends over a thousand dollars on textbooks alone, per year. How does that make you feel? A question that has floated through many college student’s heads is why are books not included in tuition? Now, there are many different opinions on this. Tuition is made up by the Board of Visitors. Tuition includes a meal plan, room and board, and classes. Some student’s tuition can differ from others. For example, some people have a less expensive meal plan, some students are not full-time, and depending on if the student planning on coming to Radford lives in the state, all of that can make a difference in a person’s cost of tuition. After surveying eighty-five people, we learned that fifty-nine students believe that textbooks should be included in tuition, while twelve others think that students should be responsible for the cost of textbooks.

Freshman Mackenzie Douglas said, “I think textbooks should be included in tuition because every student is already paying so much money to be here, it is not fair that we have to pay additional costs to participate in class.” Freshman Ahyana Calloway has said that “Some places price textbooks cheaper than other locations. If textbooks were added into our tuition, then we would not be able to get them wherever we want, for the lower prices.” Sophomore Jill Elkins has said, “I think textbooks should not be included with tuition because what if they include all the textbooks for the year and on the first day of classes, your teacher tells you that your class will not be using the textbook? Then you spend extra money for a book that you can’t ever use again.”

The two sides of the argument are that books are too expensive and students are already paying thousands of dollars to be here already, so why should they pay more to be able to do the work and readings and pass a class? Some students have talked about how they feel it is unfair and they wish someone would do something about it. These students feel strongly about the situation and are hoping for a change to come soon. The other side of the argument agrees that books are expensive. But, if someone in a student’s family has old books from previous years or finds them online for a good price, including them in our tuition eliminate those possibilities. The group of students who agree with this side of the argument thinks that we pay thousands of dollars to come and be a student if textbooks were included in tuition the price of the books could be the most expensive books instead of getting a bargain.

A solution to this may be to have two types of tuition. One with textbooks added, one with them not. Sometimes, it is harder for people to go out and to find less expensive books. Having this become a possibility would give students more options and may cause a decrease in some students angry about the cost of textbooks. Now, nobody is saying this is what is going to happen, that things are going to change. But, from what has been accounted for, the majority of students do believe that textbooks should be included with tuition.

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