ELAC falls short in book affordability

By Vanessa Gutierrez

Renting books is a new and excellent way of saving money in this or any economy.

College books are expensive and with college tuition fees getting higher, students need to learn better ways of saving the money that they don’t have.

“I use my own money to buy my books,” said Daniel Gonzalez, refering to the fact that he does not get financial aid.

Gonzalez goes to a website named Half.com because he says all his books are cheaper and half-off the regular book price.

Half.com provides students from all over the country a place to put their old books for sale.

“This semester I got a book from Louisiana and another one from [New] Jersey,” said Gonzalez.

Sometimes a book may delay in arriving timely, or missing pages may make it difficult to keep up with the class.

Often, students find themselves having to buy books that will be only used once.

For instance, unless you major is mathematics, math books will only be used once.

When faced with that problem usually the answer is to try and resell the book, either to students or back to the book store.

In that case, very little to no money may be earned back because students have to compete with the cheap prices of online distributors.

It consumes a student’s time, going from class to class trying to get someone to buy it, instead of the student spending time getting books for their current classes.

The book store is no better because although it provides a centralized purchaser, the money they pay back is usually far from what the student originally had to pay.

An alternate solution is to go on websites like Amazon.com or Ebay.com.

There, students can try to get a cheaper book, but a series of complications can arise.

For instance, those sites may not have the specific book needed.

“I get my books on Amazon.com which my parents pay for,” said Alex Carrillo.

Another case might be that the book may be delayed in arriving by the first class, or pages may be missing, making it difficult to keep up with the class.

There are many colleges that offer book rentals right on their online bookstore.

Cerritos College, Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Rio Hondo, Saddleback College, and Whittier College are just a few of many schools that offer this service to help students succeed.

ELAC offers book rentals to Associated Student Union members, but even then the selection of books is limited.

“I actually rented a book from ASU.

“My accounting book is $140 and I got it for $20 because I rented the book,” said Carmelina Orozco.

Due to the lack of selection, Orozco was forced to borrow her math book from someone who then bailed out on her last minute.

She still has no math book.

What happens to the rest of the hard working students that may not have the time to join ASU or are unable to pay the fee?

For a school that is expanding and rising, we seem to be falling behind in this area.


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