Prices force alternatives

With dictionary-sized textbooks that can give students lower back problems before the age of 25, and cost up to one month’s car payment, some students are taking a liberal approach and going through classes without the required text.

Sibeko Jywanza, a senior business administration student, tries to avoid sacrificing his rent money for overpriced books.

“They [books] cost $500 and I don’t have that much money until my net check comes,” said the 21-year-old from Indianapolis.

In order to save money, some students have devised ways such as using the Internet, practicing excessive note-taking or getting copies made.

“I either find somebody and make copies or make arrangements with someone who has already taken the class,” Jywanza said.

“I might also split the cost with someone.”

Lauren Sapp, director of libraries, said students come in all the time attempting to borrow textbooks for courses.

“As a University rule, we do not purchase textbooks,” Sapp said.

“We offer materials that supplement the books required for the class”.

Students are not the only ones frustrated with the prices of books.

Some professors are disturbed by the cost and resort to producing their own texts at lower prices.

“Textbook prices have gone up 250 percent,” said David W. Felder, a professor of philosophy.

“Students were telling me they did poorly in the class because they couldn’t afford the book.”

To rectify the problem, Felder has created his own Web site – – where students can purchase textbooks for his class for under $10.

“They [books] are absolutely necessary because there will be an inferior classroom atmosphere if students don’t read. Students won’t learn as much without them.”

Contact Russell Nichols at