While exploring the most critical issues among college students, the most frequent problems were concerning material possessions and high expenses on textbooks in particular. Increased costs on educational materials commonly become barriers to the proper academic experience. The following proposal contains a comprehensive overview of the problem, according to the student’s abilities and expectations; furthermore, a feasible solution to the issue will be provided.
Area of Concern: High Costs on College Textbooks
With every year, the expenses spent on college equipment and, in particular, textbooks are significantly increasing. Statistically, 66% of students skip buying course materials due to their high prices, fully aware that this decision could negatively influence their grading (Nagle and Vitez 2). Such settlement leads a person to miss many essential parts of the learning process, depriving them of the opportunity to fully comprehend the course materials. Financial struggles should not be barriers to receiving a high-quality education, as it does not define a person’s intellectual abilities.
Materialistic hardships can also serve as a delaying mechanism in the time spent at college. Students may occasionally take fewer courses because of their inability to afford to buy a textbook. It is evident how high prices on print course materials can decrease learners’ productivity, academic success, and prolong their time at university. Such a considerable issue requires immediate solutions that will help less financially fortunate scholars to receive equal educational knowledge delivery.
Digitalization concerns each industry, including academics. Buying multiple textbooks that will be useful for a year is unecological and an expensive privilege. Therefore, one of the most feasible solutions for such a problem would be integrating all textbooks online and adapting them for reading on-screen. Such initiative will significantly reduce readers’ costs and free students of the need to spend hundreds of dollars on a book they will not need next semester. Multiple websites, like Chegg.com, CampusBooks.com, and Amazon.com, offer their users to rent a book instead of buying a pricey alternative. Since little to no students use their college textbooks after the course, its further need is relatively small; therefore, renting is the best method to preserve capital.
A one-time investment in eBooks, like Kindle or an IPad, which will become the primary reading device will significantly decrease the spending in the next years of studying. They will allow less fortunate learners to take all desired classes without the need to skip courses due to a lack of funds. Moreover, the universities may initiate the digitalization of the campus and provide all students with devices on which they can download and read all their course materials. Such initiative includes multiple benefits for both the students and the university: it will undeniably increase the college’s ecological responsibility and student trust, and it may start positioning itself as a technologically advanced facility.
The initiative indeed requires some investment in the eBooks themselves, which costs around $100 each. However, collaborating with some of the investors will help reduce the expense of purchasing a large amount of these devices and can be a feasible way of gaining new IT partners that will support the college in the next years. Therefore, incorporating eLearning across the academic facility provides various benefits for both the students and college, which becomes the primary reason for starting the adoption of technologically advanced methods of education, a much-needed modernization.
Nagle, Caylin and Kaitlyn Vitez. Fixing the Broken Textbook Market. 2nd ed., U.S. PIRG Education Fund, 2020, Web.