The business of post secondary education, and training programs has taken off in terms of profit margins in specific areas, but none more than in the area of textbooks.
When I was a student (many years ago), the profit centers for Universities were:
- Tuition Fees
- Government Funding
- Private Funding
- Gifts from alumni
- Services on campus
There was also another income center which was shared between the professors and the school and that was the sale of textbooks. When I started at U of Waterloo there were not that many texts on computers, and the ones we used were quite expensive, but now the entire text book market has exploded, and the prices have increased a great deal.
Why, is my question, are textbooks still so darn expensive? The simple answer is, profits, and a captive audience. If a professor makes the textbook compulsory for a course, he is forcing students to either:
- Buy the textbook new
- Buy it from a Used Book Store (which many times, is a previous version and may not be up to date, or worse a different text is to be used (which happens a lot in technology courses)).
- Rent the book ? Yes there are such services out there as well.
- Find a “boot leg” PDF, or similar “unofficial” version
These textbook costs are on top of the new Large Service fees from Universities, and also the costs of living away from home (if that is the case). Hope you folks are saving, if you plan on helping your kids out with post-secondary education costs.
How expensive can these books be? In the photo in this post, those two books added up to $350.00, and there were other books that could have been purchased.