Another semester is upon us, and with that comes the whole conundrum of expenses. The biggest expense to worry about for each semester ,other than tuition, is the cost of textbooks. Purchasing all of the books required for one class can cost over $200, depending on the class .If you have 4 classes this semester and each class requires a couple books each, you can spend up to $500, or more in some cases, on books alone. The cost is even greater at a 4 year University, such as UTC.
Here at Chattanooga State, we are considerably lucky to not have quite the expense that our counterparts at UTC have, but no one likes to spend more money than they have to. And while textbook expenses are considerably cheaper, for some students on a budget, or financial aid,buying books can mean making a choice between buying food, getting caught up on bills, keeping the utilities on at the house, or getting to school for the rest of the semester. My first year at Chattanooga State, I spent almost $1,200 on books,and some of them weren’t even cracked open the whole semester. On more than one occasion, I’ve bought a brand new book from the bookstore for more than $100, and at the end of the semester,they offer to buy it back for a paltry $6.00.No, I didn’t leave out a zero. Six American dollars (and sometimes a snickers bar) for a book I bought 4 months ago and paid $100 dollars for. The excuse the bookstore employees use to justify this act of highway robbery usually involves one of two scenarios. Either the class the book is required for isn’t available for the upcoming semester,or the instructor has changed the course content and the book for that class. This to me,is somewhat shady dealings. The bookstore should work in conjunction with Administration to determine what books are going to be used again, and those books that are not being used should not be sold at full retail price.
After almost 4 years of dealing with bureaucratic red tape at Chatt State, I realize this will never happen. The dirty truth is that not only is Chatt State an “institute of higher learning” it’s also a business,and they have profit margins to meet just like any other business and no successful business will do anything to jeopardize those profit margins. After a few semesters of feeling ripped off and getting no satisfactory response or reactions, I decided I would never buy another book from the campus bookstore.
But this creates a whole new conundrum. Where do I get my books? And how do I spend less on them so it justifies my decision to never patronize the bookstore?
I found the answer from a friend in one of my classes. He turned me on to chegg.com. Chegg.com is a textbook rental website. Basically,you order your books from chegg, at very cut rate prices, use them for the semester, then ship them back.the whole process is very easy. They supply box to ship them back, and you print a return label and drop them off at UPS at the end of the semester. The books arrive within a week of ordering,and the best part is you can save up to 75% on the total cost of books for a semester. Here are a few examples of the savings one can expect when using Chegg.com.
History 1010 spring-Warren Mackey,inst.
Tradition and encounters,Bently
Bookstore price: New:$163.50,used $122.75
Criminal justice 1000 spring;
Careers in criminal justice
Bookstore price:$54.00 new
CO 100-INTRO TO MASS COMMUNICATIONS
Introduction to mass communications,by Stanly J Baran
As you can see by these comparisons, Chegg.com is the way to go for procuring your textbooks. If you buy your books from the bookstore,and end up returning them, in essence your renting them anyway. I’ts kind of disheartening knowing you bought a book for $100 ,then sold it back to who you bought it from for $10.I’d rather rent the same book for $30 dollars,then send it back in a box via ups, and not have to worry about standing in line, or getting ripped off.