One of the most talked about issues in America is the price of a college education. American students owe 1.3 Trillion in student loan debt. The average student loan debt in 2016 was $37,172. There are many contributing factors as to why college costs so much. Such as facilities, teachers, athletics, etc. It seems that people are so used to the fact that college costs so much, they don’t pay attention to where their money is going or what they are spending it on.
Why should a textbook (without an online code) for an entry level speech class cost $300 when a book of a similar size and length costs maximum of $40 at Barnes and Nobles? Paying for credit hours and living arrangements may still be over priced, but they are necessities. Publishers and colleges alike continue to gouge the bank accounts of hardworking students, just trying to get a degree. Government officials recognize the issues that come with student debt. They claim to care about students, and how much debt they graduate with. It really doesn’t seem that way, however. If they really cared, they would place some sort of regulation. I know many people are not a fan of Bernie Sanders and his whole plan of free college education. I understand why people disagree with his reasoning (I do too), but why does it have to be one extreme or the other? Either college will cost you $50,000 or you get it for free. I am fine with paying for my education, but when I’m Paying over $600+ on textbooks per semester (which the publishing companies are making +100% profit on) I start to get a little discouraged. I know this is America and we were founded and have thrived off of a capitalistic market, but this is one area that I think should be regulated. I’m not asking for free college. I’m not even asking for free textbooks. I just feel like everyone, including my college who I’m already paying thousands of dollars to each semester, is just trying to make a quick buck off of me. You always see posters, “Don’t drop out, leave with your degree” maybe because they just want to keep making money off of you. Not to mention that $300 speech textbook, they will buy it back for about $7. Then proceed to resell it at an insane margin to another unsuspecting student.
I just do not think that textbooks should be such a profitable business when it is at the expense of the people who keep them in business in the first place. One reason they can charge so much for textbooks is because the demand is almost completely inelastic. You have no choice but to buy the book for the class you are taking, so that enables them to price the books at absurd prices. They are completely taking advantage of the position they are in and no one seems to care.