College Students Choosing Not to Purchase Books

March 30, 2005 -- Posted at 5:19 p.m. CST


JONESBORO, AR -- A large number of college students are skipping the book instead of skipping class.

We all know that college textbooks cost a lot, and many classes require more than one book.

“The upper level junior and senior level classes would often require four or five different books,” said Dr. David Harding, a Political Science Professor atArkansas State University.

“I do see many students coming in now, opting not to purchase recommended or optional books,” said Brian White, Manager of Indian Book and Supply.

“I can’t afford to, honestly, buy every book that’s on the list,” said student Brandon Looney.

“I think a lot of people don’t plan in advance for having to buy textbooks.  Textbooks throughout high school are paid for, and suddenly you have to pay for books,” said White.

There are other options for students looking to save money.  

“I’ve gone to more on-line readings... things available electronically, to try to save students some money,” said Dr. Harding.

Professors say it is important to borrow the book from someone else if you don't buy it.

“You can’t do, in three hours of lecture, everything.  You’ve got to come to the lecture with at least some of that framework already in place from having done the reading,” said Dr. Harding.

A semester of books will cost a student about $500.  That price will go up or down depending on the number of classes a student takes.