Cost of books raises concern

By Quentin Ison and By Quentin Ison

College is an expensive venture. Many costs are intertwined with tuition, such as room and board, meal plan and credit hour costs. But above all costs, textbooks may be the most divisive costs required of students.

Ohio Governor John Kasich has recently proposed an option to Ohio State and Ohio public universities to increase the cost of tuition by $300 a semester, which would cover all textbook costs for students.

While this idea may seem plausible, many University students disagree with the idea.

Freshman Jacob Evans, an undecided student, does not believe the fee is a beneficial action for the University to pursue.

“This semester, I only had to buy a total of two textbooks, both of which only cost me $15. I could understand why students with more demanding majors such as math and science students would be for addition, but as someone who is unsure as to what I want to pursue, I think adding an additional cost onto students is unfair and would only help a select amount of people out.”

Logan Lanson, a junior criminal justice major, agrees with the points resonated by Evans and also believes other competing organizations outside of the campus bookstore could be affected.

“I don’t believe this idea will be beneficial in the long run,” Lanson said. “This idea would kill competition for companies like Amazon. Government interference would likely end up costing students money and drive up the cost of taxes to pay the remaining costs for government supplied textbooks.”

Other students have expressed varying viewpoints, such as Junior Keylin Freeman, who believes there are positives to Governor Kasich’s proposal.

“As a computer science major, we are often forced to pay for both physical and virtual copies of textbooks. This semester I spent close to about $330 on textbooks which is considerably higher than I normally need. I feel that a cap on textbook prices would help me and my fellow computer science students greatly.”

A student’s major has a great deal of influence on whether or not a student would adopt a stance for or against the ratification of the textbook idea. Some of the most expensive texts are found in the math and science fields. One example is the textbook for Economics 2000, a course required by many colleges to obtain a degree in a financial field– the book costs $205 according to Chegg and Amazon.

“Forcing a student to pay a high number for a book a student may not even need or use more than once or twice in a semester is absurd,” Evans said. “Forcing students to obtain access codes and other add-on items isn’t exactly a great system.”

The outcome of Governor Kasich’s proposal remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain: University students are divided on the issue. Only time will tell what is in store for Ohio universities.