The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Students respond to text book expenses

Like it or not, going to college is expensive. Tuition, meal plans, housing costs and student loans are often required in order to earn a college degree.

However, many students find paying for college difficult but worth the investment.

Textbook expenses seen to be a different story.

Some students say the SMU bookstore is the easiest way to purchase textbooks because individual textbook lists are generated through each student’s Access account.

Junior Moses Williams said he continues to utilize the bookstore because of “the convenience of getting books at the last minute.”

Others say that while convenient, bookstore prices can be more expensive than those of online sellers. Also, the bookstore cannot guarantee that every book sold can be bought back.

“I bought my books at the SMU bookstore the first semester and I learned my lesson. $800+ on textbooks for one semester should be a crime,” Sophomore Sarahi Garcia said.

“I buy them online now, [which is] still expensive, but I think it’s the best alternative.”

Amazon and eBay’s are popular alternatives to ordering directly from the bookstore. Many find this option saves more financially but requires more effort and research.

“I always buy and sell my books on It definitely takes more effort and research than going to the SMU Bookstore, but it’s a lot cheaper,” sophomore Paige Witthar said. “I’ve saved about $230 so far on books for this semester. Last semester, I saved almost exactly 50 percent by buying my books online.”

Junior Savannah Niles expressed a similar tactic as Witthar.

“I purchase books for super-cheap on eBay or Amazon, making sure they’re the exact version the book store is selling.”

Although some students find purchasing textbooks online more profitable, others find navigating the business of online textbook sales to be confusing.

Senior International Studies major Lindsey Prowse found it difficult to tell how Amazon prices compared to bookstore prices without research.

Some found the prices are not always remarkably cheaper online.

Sophomore Colleen Russo purchased some of her books used on Amazon, and “was surprised to find that the used price on Amazon was not that different from SMU’s used price.”

With multiple ways to buy, sell and compare textbook prices, students can be overwhelmed with both the expense and the effort. Whether they use the bookstore or an online seller, students must evaluate how much they are willing to spend versus how much effort and research they are willing to do.

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