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College textbook prices don’t compute

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CRYSTAL, N.D. — Recently, I had some time to kill in Grand Forks, so I went over to the university bookstore and looked through the textbook section. About the only cheap book I saw was “Horton Hears a Who” for a philosophy course; and the prices on the rest of the books were outrageous. The price of the basic physics text was about $240, and the basic calculus text was about $150.

Why?

There are perfectly good texts for these subjects that are a fraction of that price. Why aren’t they being used?

The students basically are being screwed. Why aren’t the accreditation organizations speaking up? Aren’t they there to make sure that students are getting value for their money?

I have no doubt about the value of a college education, but the value now is much less than the cost for most people. Why isn’t something being done?

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