Why are university textbooks so pricey? College students often pay hundreds of dollars for one semester’s book-bound learning content. At some colleges, many do so only to trudge up to the campus bookstore at the end of the semester and exchange the same careworn books for just a few bucks. Why are college bookstores often the worst options for students? Shouldn’t universities help students by offering cheap prices for learning content material?
Unfortunately, university bookstores are generally owned by just a handful of big companies nowadays, rather than the schools that house them. But even when they’re not, they’re a business in themselves. At my college in upstate New York, for example, we were reduced to waiting in line for hours, only to pay outrageous prices to a bunch of long-haired, Phish-t-shirt-wearing “dudes” who pretended they weren’t making a killing on our recycled learning content.