Textbook costs are predatory

Mar 2, 2021

To the editor:

Every new semester of college came with a dreaded activity: I had to find and rent the textbooks I needed for my classes.

I scoured the internet to find the best possible deal.

During this time I would see the strain on my mother’s face. I already owed loans to a school that no longer exists, I couldn’t put any more stress on my family’s finances.

My parents have always done so much for me, and I would push my anxiety to the limits to lessen the burden of buying textbooks.

Despite these strains, I know this isn’t even the worst it could be.

What is my struggle compared to a student receiving C’s when they should get A’s because they don’t have the required book?

What about students who might forgo food and healthcare to reach that grade?

Why should they suffer so much for knowledge intended for sharing?

There is a better way than this corporate tug-of-war, and it lives in open education resources.

For the sake of our students, we need to offer cheaper, if not free, alternatives for textbooks.

To invest in their — in our future, we must fund educational resources that anyone can access.

Alyssa Buffington

UMass Dartmouth