The High Price of Textbooks

Gasoline prices are skyrocketing. Families are struggling to pay for electricity and heating bills. While a college education may seem the only way to find a decent job in today's world, the truth is that it is expensive and out of reach for many families.

Upon entering college, students and their parents are suddenly faced with the high price of textbooks. College textbooks can add hundreds, if not thousands, to a student's education expenses.

The College of Appalachia is a small college in Virginia. The yearly tuition is already pricey at almost $28,000 per year. This doesn't even begin to cover housing, food, utilities, or transportation costs. Their Pharmacy program is a popular choice among students, but the text book list cost more than $1,000 per year.

Take a look at the required text book list for one year and their suggested retail prices:

  1. Communication Skills in Pharmacy Practice by R.S. Beardsley, C.L. Kimberlin, and W.N. Tindall. (List Price: $38.95)
  2. The Pharmacy Professionals Guide to Resumes, CVs, and Interviewing by T. Reinders. (List Price: $39.95)
  3. Harper's Illustrated Biochemistry by R.K. Murray, D.K. Granner, P.A. Mayes, and V.W. Rodwell (List Price: $47.95)
  4. Introduction to Medicinal Organic Chemistry by Lemke (List Price: $40.95)
  5. Foye's Principles of Medicinal Chemistry by Williams (List Price: $85.95)
  6. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs by Berardi (List Price: $149.00)
  7. Pharmacotherapy by Dipiro (List Price: $174.00)
  8. Basic and Clinical Pharmacology by Katzung (List Price: $59.95)
  9. Review of Medical Physiology by W.F. Ganong (List Price: $57.95)
  10. Pathophysiology of Disease by McPhee (List Price: $57.95)
  11. Ansel's Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms and Drug Delivery Systems by Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins (List Price: $59.95)
  12. Pharmaceutical Calculations by Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins (List Price: $64.95)
  13. A Practical Guide to Contemporary Pharmacy Practice by Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins (List Price: $65.95)
  14. Pharmacy Practice and Law by Abood (List Price: $74.95)
  15. Concepts in Clinical Pharmacokinetics by J.T. Dipiro, W.J. Spruill, and W.E. Wade (List Price: $99.00)
  16. A Guide to Physical Examination by Bates (List Price: $87.95)
  17. Pharmacotherapy: A Patient-Focused Approach by Dipiro (List Price: $49.95)

These textbooks top $1,200 and they are the required books for just one year. There are more than a dozen “recommended” textbooks suggested by the professors. While a new student is already paying well over $100,000 for a four-year college, another $1,000 or more per year truly adds up making college seem out of reach.

While some books may be available used, remember that college students are trying to recover their book expenses from the previous year, so the discounts may not be as high as you would wish.

In general, college tuition alone does not cover a student's expenses. Students should plan to spend upwards of $1,500 in textbooks every year, especially as textbooks are revised frequently and most professors require the most recent printing. Spending time hunting around for the least expensive textbook is often the best route.

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