Thurman Speaks More About the Costs of Textbooks

On 15 August 2005, I went to the SCC bookstore to find out how much a new copy of a "College Mathematics" textbook would cost. Excluding tax, the cost was $130.50 ($98.00 if you can find a used copy). With tax included, the new textbook costs $132.50.

The next day on 16 August 2005, the Arizona Republic had a short three-paragraph "national brief" headlined: "Software, supplements lifting textbook prices." The brief news items was generated by a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that says the "average college student spends nearly $900 on textbooks and supplies, or 26 percent of tuition and fees per year at typical four-year colleges." At community colleges, the GAO says this percentage climbs to 72%. The report indicates the since 1986, textbook prices have increased about 6% per year.

Cost of Taking a Community College Math Class at SCC

Let's calculate how much it will cost to take the 3-credit "Mathematical Concepts/Applications" course at Scottsdale Community College. Transportation costs are excluded.

            tuition:  $180    ($60 per credit)
   registration fee:  $  5    
         course fee:  $  5
      textbook cost:  $132    (rounded down to nearest dollar)
         total cost:  $322 

The textbook cost is almost 41% of the total cost of taking the course. 41% is will below the average of 72%; therefore, does this say something about the Maricopa Community College's tuition rates?

GDT::Speaks:: About the Cost of Textbooks (28 Aug 2004)

Creator: Gerald D. Thurman [gthurman@gmail.com]
Created: 16 August 2005