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College textbook costs on the rise, students find ways to save

Lawton_A college education is one of the biggest investments someone can make in their future.  It doesn't come cheap, with the rising costs of tuition, and room and board, students are now worrying about the prices of textbooks.  But, students are becoming creatively thrifty.  Instead of paying top-dollar to thumb through the crisp pages of a new textbook, some students say they would rather do a little extra work to save a buck.

Students are watching the web, scouring EBay, teaming up with classmates to share, and shopping for used books.  Students say the extra work is worth it if they can save a few dollars per book.  Bookstores are cashing in on students who say that small savings add up each semester. 

Grad student Angela Stanley says the price of textbooks have increased since she has been in school.  "You just have to accept it," she said.  "I study hard so that I need my books.  It's just part of the college experience."  However, Cameron University student John Reasoner says he isn't prepared to pay a hefty price without a fight.  In fact, he says he has a strategy when it comes to buying textbooks.  "First of all I see if I have any friends in my class," he said. "I'll try to share with them, or see if someone has already taken the class and borrow from them."

Understandably, purchasing textbooks for each class - sometimes multiple books for each class - can leave a student's pockets empty.  "They're ridiculous, they're very expensive," said Reasoner.  "I just paid $107 for this one book, and the chances of selling it back just never know."  Cameron University Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. John McArthur says he realizes that book prices hit students hard.  "Cameron also makes sure that if a professor requires a textbook that they're actually using that textbook," he said.  "It's just out of consideration for the student."

The best option for students is to shop around.  Buying used books can save students money - but only if they're available.  If the course requires a newly published book, you may have to bite the bullet and pay the hefty price - or share the cost of the book with another classmate.

Another way Oklahoma college students are saving the green is by avoiding bundled book packages.  In response to recent Oklahoma legislation, all universities must offer books in bundles and separately. 

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