Textbook woes continue at RCC

While students are returning back to Riverside City College from their winter break, many students are wondering how much their textbooks will be this semester and where they will be getting their textbooks.

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By Javier Cabrera | Editor in Chief

Not again (Allison Perez | Interim Photo Editor)

By Javier Cabrera | Editor in Chief

While students are returning back to Riverside City College from their winter break, many students are wondering how much their textbooks will be this semester and where they will be getting their textbooks.

One option that students chose is the Bookstore on campus because the textbooks are available immediately and the textbooks are the specific ones that each instructor has assigned for his or her classes.

But after paying off tuition fees, a parking permit and waiting for financial aid to arrive, many students are unable to  purchase their textbooks at the Bookstore, so they explore other routes such as renting their textbooks from online websites.

“I’ll buy older books, if possible, and rent if I have to have the newest editon,” David Doria said.

In a survey conducted by Viewpoints on its Facebook fan page, RCC students agreed with Doria and they do similar actions with acquiring their textbooks via renting or buying online.

In the survey most of the RCC students said they bought their textbooks cheaper on websites like Amazon, Ebay, Half.com and Craigslist.

Stacy Weidner, manager of the RCC Bookstore, said it has been improving the new methods students are taking, such as renting textbooks, that way the cost will be less for students.

“It’s been incredible,” she said. “We have over 50 percent of the students from the three campuses Norco, Moreno Valley, and Riverside, are choosing renting.”

 “(We are) one of the most successful (colleges) in the country with a rental program,” Weidner said. “It’s been very popular.”

 Weidner said a lot of RCC students do not know about the Bookstore’s other methods of acquiring textbooks that it tries to promote the methods in every way possible such as on Facebook.

“For the spring semester, 71 percent of our titles are digital options, and 63 percent is rental,” she said.

One reason why RCC students do not buy their textbooks from the college’s Bookstore is because they feel they cannot resell their textbooks at the end of the semester.

“When I tried to sell the book back, the Bookstore told me that they wouldn’t buy it because they already moved to another edition, even though that semester was the first time that particular book was used,” Doria said about his Norco College special edition Spanish textbook. “I paid about $120.”

Justino Gomez, assistant manager of the Bookstore, said there are a number of reasons why it might not buy back textbooks such as the Bookstore might have enough textbooks for the class for the next semester, the professor of the class is not using that textbook anymore or the condition of the textbook is not usable.

In Doria’s case, the special edition textbook he is referring to is a packaged textbook that is designed for a specific class and is hard to acquire outside of the campus’ Bookstore.

Gomez said these special edition textbook packages are created by the instructor of the class because the instructor is using a certain number of chapters from the original textbook and is adding them to other chapters of other textbooks to create a new special textbook.

Gomez also said these special edition textbooks are created to save students money.

Gomez used Computer Information System 1A as an example where if the student was to buy the access code alone the cost will be $132, where on the other hand if the student buys the bundle package that includes the textbook book and access code than the price will be $113.

Gomez said the college and faculty works with the publisher to give RCC students the cheapest price.

“We are here to serve the students and sell the books, giving students choices, by having rental choices and used books,” Weidner said.

“Our business is to serve the students and make sure they have their books for the first day of class, so that they can have their education,” she said.

Weidner said the Bookstore depends on the sale of textbooks.

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