Editorial: Textbook adoption rates decrease is concerning

We’ve all been there: venturing out in the blistering cold and trekking to the bookstore tents to sell our semester’s used (if at all) textbooks for a fraction of the price we bought them. Needless to say, it isn’t a generally pleasant experience, especially when one finds their egregiously expensive books might not be worth so much the second time around, no matter how good of condition they’re in.

The bookstore offers students more money for books that it knows will be used again, and will give a student $5 for any other book they used, even if it might not be required the following semester. In the end, we commend the bookstore for doing its best to try to help students save money. However, an important third party in this biannual transaction isn’t quite pulling its weight during these trying economic times.

Textbook adoption rates measure the percentage of professors who tell the bookstore what books they’ll be using during the next semester. This allows the bookstore to not only know what books it needs to buy in order to properly prepare MU’s students, but also offers students more money for books it know will be used again. If the forms are turned in on time, it helps to eliminate the risk of a student being cheated when he or she sell a “useless” book back to the bookstore when, in reality, it’ll end up being sold at a higher price because a professor didn’t turn in his or her forms.

Two years ago, textbook adoption rates stood at about 40 percent. Last year, they had increased to 85 percent, but have now fallen to about 65 percent. A lower rate means more students who get cheated when it's time to sell back their books even though all professors have to do is submit some paperwork.

Yes, we students know finals season is a busy time for professors too, but that’s no excuse. The deadline for submitting the textbook requisition forms was in October, nearly two months before finals. Even if the deadline were this week, students can’t use their tests as an excuse to ditch their responsibilities. Professors shouldn’t be able to either.

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