Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Astronomical Costs of Higher Education

Books are expensive. Very, very expensive.

My general strategy is to buy the books I need right away from the bookstore and use or Columbia's own version (Dogears) to buy the rest. Today I spent almost $200 on three books for two classes. They are not all the books for those classes either. And I'm taking three other classes too!! (Would that I knew which three other classes I'm taking.)

If you want to talk about how college is so expensive, how people cannot afford to raise themselves up and succeed. How the American Dream is unreachable. How the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. How hard it is to get a solid education. Well, then I suggest you start the discussion with the fact that I just spent close to $100 on a Constitutional Law textbook.

But seriously, thank God I can afford to buy my ridiculously expensive books and I try to save money where I can and I try to sell to others what I can, but not everyone has $500 lying around to spend on books every semester. (Which is not to say I just have $500 lying around either.)

Don't you think there is something wrong with the fact that every aspect of a good education costs an astronomical amount of money?


At 9/7/05, 7:58 PM, Blogger Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

Like most problems in America, the high cost of college and grad school is mostly the federal government's fault.

The problem federally backed student loans. Schools know that they can keep on raising tution and students will just take out more and more loans. There's no reason for schools not to raise tution if they know the money is coming anyway.

My father paid $3000 a year in tution for law school 25 years ago. I'm paying $35,000 or about 5 times higher than he did after adjusted for inflation.

At 9/7/05, 9:59 PM, Blogger Zoe Strickman said...

I agree that it is very smart to go to or any of the price comparison sites that you can find on

Our school doesn't mind if we buy all the books, then try to find and order cheaper books online, and when it arrives, the bookstore will accept the return of the new book.

I also often just look to see which books are always on reserve at the library. That way there is no need to buy them.

At 9/9/05, 11:59 AM, Blogger Nephtuli said...

My con law book was just as expensive but at least I'll get to use it for two semesters.

The price of books would go down if teachers had to purchase them also. As it stands they get them for free, so why should they care if the new edition is basically an exact replica of the last edition, save for a new chart or case? is a great resource but try first to see if Half has the cheapest books. Sometimes Amazon is cheaper and sometimes you might get lucky and get a good book on

At 9/9/05, 12:00 PM, Blogger Nephtuli said...

Hey, if you need any other law books, let me know. I could always unload a few. :-)

At 9/12/05, 6:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


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