High Cost Of Textbooks Catches College Students Off Guard

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Lori Bezio and her daughter Megan were at the Jefferson Community College bookstore Wednesday shopping for textbooks for the upcoming semester.

Lori knew college was expensive, but when she saw the price tag on each textbook her daughter bought, she said she couldn't believe it. 

"Very surprised at the prices. I was so surprised she spent $80 to $100 on a book"

Tuition per semester at JCC is low compared with other schools, around $1,900 dollars per semester.

But during that semester, officials estimate the average student will spend $575 dollars on books and supplies.

And the association that runs the bookstore says it doesn't really control how much a book costs.

"Textbook prices are really driven by the supply, you know, the companies that produce the books, sell the books," said Jack Donato, president of the Faculty Student Association.

Donato says publishers control supply by pumping out a limited number of new books every year to try to lessen the sale of used books. This, he says, keeps prices high.

Many students are fed up with prices at the bookstore, and they're turning elsewhere.

"Coupons, check Craigslist, anywhere, really," said student Danielle Smith.

Sites like Amazon sell used books for a much lower price. The site Chegg let's you rent books and then return them at the end of the semester. E-books are also an option. 

Lori and Meghan will be doing some hunting on the internet for books.

But no matter how she gets them - come fall - Megan will need them.

Friday, October 31, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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