I bought my calculus book today that's going to last me for the next 3 semesters. However, the grand total for that single book came to $310.65! The book is actually going to cost more than the class.
The problem is the book is a specific edition for my college. Which I find is stupid because calculus is nearly exactly the same in all colleges. The publishers and colleges are working together so students have to buy those exact books specific to the school. These books cannot be found online as they are only sold and the student book store, and you have to buy them brand new. To make matters even worse most colleges cycle their entire text book selection every 2 years. This keeps book cost high because there will not be a build up of old books.
This should be stopped. Books should not be able to be made to a specific school (only under special circumstances). Text books should be generalized; there should be only 3 to 4 main stream text books for a specific topic at any one time. Lastly books should rotate out every 4-5 years not every 2 years.