Thursday, September 3, 2009

Text Book Ruminations

So as I sit here contemplating an unsatisfying bowl of cold ramen before class and wait for my financial aid check to show up I have to consider just how slightly screwed up the situation is.

Now, complaining about text books is one of those universal gripes that all college students have, but considering the lead time between when you are expected to have the books and when you actually get money from the school to buy those books it's particularly irksome. There is no way to transfer money from your loans to your school account before they issue you a refund... you have to wait to get the check, cash it, wait for it to clear the bank (5-7 days if the refund check is over $1000) and THEN transfer money to buy book and supplies.

I guess they expect you to pay for the books out of pocket and reimburse yourself later.

Problem is that I may in fact be setting a new personal record for textbook costs this year. One Architecture class alone has 10 books, 5 required, 3 strongly recommended and 2 optional. If I just buy the required texts for the class I'm at $453. Oh, and one of the books has been out of print for 30 years and they have ~50 copies for a class of 102 students. My language class is going to cost me $134 for books and finally math is $99.

That is $686 just for books. I haven't gotten into the supplies.

I did mention I'm eating Ramen, right? What student has $700 just lying around to blow on books that isn't earmarked for anything else?

And before you ask, there is a copy of the language books in the library, math text is not, and 2 of the 5 Architecture books are available at the library. The other three were checked out (not supposed to be possible) and never returned.

If you will excuse me I have to go sit in my math class and pretend I am following along in a text book I don't have.

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