Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kalamazoo Student's Textbook Spending

With textbook prices increasing at twice the rate of inflation according to a government study by the Accountability Office the cost for students is becoming a rising issue. For Kalamazoo College students the average spending on textbooks per quarter is 210 or 630 dollars every year. This is drastically less than the 2010-2011 national average of $1,137 estimated by the CollegeBoard. The reason for these lower costs may be due to a number of spending habits. Less than half of Kalamazoo students surveyed only bought their books from the campus bookstore while 56% opted to purchase at least some of their textbooks, if not all, from an online source. Of those who only used the campus store their average spending was $245 but students buying some of their books online spent an average of $208, a slight saving which suggests that students who shop around or use an online source tend to get a better deal. The most common online source for Kalamazoo students was Amazon with 91% of online shoppers using this website to buy their books. Another option to cut back on spending is not buying a new book. Twice as many textbooks reportedly bought for spring quarter were purchased in used condition and 37% of students chose to rent some of their textbooks this year, an increasing trend nationwide. 88% of students sometimes choose to sell back their textbooks when they are done with them. Of these the majority chose to sellback to the campus bookstore although no students surveyed were completely satisfied with the sellback prices offered at the campus bookstore. The average sellback price for last quarter’s textbooks per student was $43 (about 20% of their original cost). These findings show the on average students at Kalamazoo may spend less than those at other schools because they exercise other resources leading to smart spending habits.

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