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The Money-Hungry Monster of Textbook Prices

Textbook PricesImagine this scenario: You’re a newly accepted freshman wrought with a sense of anticipation and wonder as you hit the “submit” button to finalize your class roster.  To fully prepare for your upcoming venture, you view your college’s bookstore website to add up prices.  Then you sit, horrified and wide-eyed as your textbook cost amounts to $300, $400, or $500+ for the required materials.

This number may be particularly shocking for California community college (CCC) attendees, who intentionally avoided excess cost for their initial 2-year courses spent at a CSU or UC.  Instead of shelling out over $13,000 per year for a CSU in-state tuition, the average a CCC student can expect is around $4,000.  So they accept their $1,000 to 2,000 or so fee for the term, only to realize that books alone could reach up to $600 or more that semester.  That’s 40% of their tuition.  Talk about excessive!

Unimaginable Price Jumps

As pointed out by the Wall Street Journal, the book “Principles of Economics” forces students to pay at least $250 for that single text.  Many students end up covering textbook costs using their own money.  If they clocked in 35 hours of minimum wage earns, they could afford that book, but compared to 1982, a book with that information cost $20.  With minimum wage at $3.35, it instead took merely six hours to cover the cost.

To put the massive sticker price jump into further perspective, let this digest for a minute: In the past 30 years, textbook prices have swelled up—get ready for it—a whopping 812%.

Underlying Reasoning

If you get the chance, unfold the front cover of a classroom textbook and see if you can find its retail price hidden anywhere among the usual publishing details.  We can almost guarantee that’ll be a futile venture.

While publishers purposely leave out the wholesale price, teachers and students fail to question it further.  The allure of used and rental opportunities beckon penny-pinching students, but unfortunately, additional features like online quizzes (via SAM or other mediums) can only be accessed using a code, either bundled with a pricey brand-new book or as a stand-alone code.  It seems silly, but you could purchase what you think is a full-fledged text, and find yourself $200 deeper in debt for a piece of paper typed with an activation key.

Instructors choose these routes because of the beneficial features to save them time: PowerPoints, pre-made exams, and other helpful materials… but these are for the teacher’sconvenience.  Despite the outrageous sticker prices, instructors accept it as necessity, and thus render students unable to bypass the extra cost.  With the focus on rising tuition costs, textbooks become a side-product of the higher education inflation.  At what point will we start raising our voices and pushing back to what’s considered unreasonable?  900% inflation?  1,000?

This blog was provided by Westface College Planning. For more tips and information, sign up for a free College Funding workshop or webinar or call us at (650) 587-1559.

Photo Credit: Jeff Krause


Studying Tunes – Remix Edition

In our previous post we mentioned how finding the right studying mix is important. Music can help you concentrate and keep you motivated. It can be difficult to find the perfect playlist and here at GiveTeens20®, we want to make your lives a little bit easier.

Today marks the last day of our Studying Tunes series and we are going out with a bang. Today’s genre? Electronic/Remixes.  We hope you guys enjoy listening to them as much as we did finding them. Check out the playlists below.

Electronic/Remixes

1. A mix containing 16 relaxing tunes including remixes by Kygo, Flic Flac, and Filous.

 

2. If upbeat music is more of your style to keep the study party going, check out this playlist. 19 songs. 19 remixes. Remixes done by Calvin Harris, Audien, The Chainsmokers and many more.

 

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Studying Tunes – Pop Edition

In our previous post we mentioned how finding the right studying mix is important. Music can help you concentrate and keep you motivated. It can be difficult to find the perfect playlist and here at GiveTeens20®, we want to make your lives a little bit easier. Every day this week, we will post playlists recommendations from different genres. Today’s genre? Pop. Check out the playlists below. Happy studying and listening!

Pop

  1. Popular songs covered by well-known artists, as well as indie artists.  This playlist has a good amount of upbeat and slow songs to help you stay motivated. The mix contains music from Ed Sheeran, The Heydaze, and The Neighbourhood.

  1. Another playlist that contains covers and unplugged versions of well-known songs. This mix does not disappoint, and with 90 songs on here, you are bound to find a hidden gem. Playlist includes cover songs of U2, Coldplay, Ingrid Michaelson, MGMT, and many more!

Be sure to come back tomorrow to check out our next “Studying Tunes” post. Next up: Electronic/Remixes.

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Studying Tunes – Acoustic Edition

In our previous post we mentioned how finding the right studying mix is important. Music can help you concentrate and keep you motivated. It can be difficult to find the perfect playlist and here at GiveTeens20®, we want to make your lives a little bit easier. Every day this week, we will post playlists recommendations from different genres. Today’s genre? Acoustic. Check out the playlists below. Happy studying and listening!

Acoustic

1. A playlist full of covers and acoustic versions of popular songs. Have your cup of coffee or tea next to you and get ready to study.  If you love this playlist, be sure to check out Ms. Williamson’s Beautiful Covers and Acoustics Part 2 playlist.

 

2. This playlist has a good amount of ballads, covers, and folk music. If that is up your alley, check out this playlist. The mix features artists such as Angus & Julia Stone, John Mayer, Boyce Avenue.

 

Be sure to come back tomorrow to check out our next “Studying Tunes” post. Next up: Pop.

Be sure to follow/like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!


Studying Tunes – Instrumentals Edition

In our previous post we mentioned how finding the right studying mix is important. Music can help you concentrate and keep you motivated. It can be difficult to find the perfect playlist and here at GiveTeens20®, we want to make your lives a little bit easier. Every day this week, we will post playlists recommendations from different genres. Today’s genre? Instrumentals. Check out the playlists below. Happy studying and listening!

Instrumental

1.  From Explosions in the Sky to Debussy, this playlist has a little bit of everything. If you are looking for a good mixture of classical  music, piano covers of pop songs, and post-rock instrumentals, this is your playlist. 

 

2. If you are a fan of Pixar films, this playlist should definitely do the trick for you. The playlist contains film scores from many of their popular films such as Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., and Up.  

 

3. Sometimes it is hard to concentrate to what you are studying because you feel so inclined to sing along. With this playlist, you get the best of both worlds. A playlist that will keep focused and give you a chance to listen to songs you enjoy without needing to sing along.

 

Be sure to check back tomorrow for our next “Studying Tunes” blog post. Next up: Acoustic playlists.

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Studying Tips

Studying

Studying is not always a fun thing to tackle and it can be easy to fall down the rabbit hole thanks to Tumblr or Buzzfeed quizzes. At times, the mind tricks you into thinking that everything and anything is a lot more interesting than studying. Next thing you know it, two hours have gone by and you have only read two sentences of your notes (believe me, I have been there).

Although studying may be the last thing you want to do, it is something that you have to power through. Why? You are building something for your future in every achievement. Plus, the satisfaction you feel once you do well on your exam is totally worth it.

So it’s time to stop procrastinating and Netflixing, and let’s discuss some studying tips!

1. Put down the social media

selfcontrol

Log out of Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, and other social media outlets that could distract you from studying. If it is crunch time and you need to get some serious studying in, social media can definitely wait.

If you find yourself subconsciously logging back into your social media accounts, download a program to block distracting websites from your computer for a set period of time. For PC, use the program Cold Turkey. For Mac, use the program Self Control.

2. Silence your phone

silence

If you are not expecting an urgent phone call or text, silence your phone and put it away. Sometimes it is easy to subconsciously whip out your phone when studying is not going very well. Power through and check out all of your notifications from your phone later.

3. Leave a trail of gummy bears when reading

blog.cappex.com

blog.cappex.com

This little studying hack gives you incentive for your work. If you need to get a lot of reading done, try leaving a gummy bear trail throughout the page. Once you reach a gummy bear, you get to eat it and move on to the next paragraph.

PS: It does not necessarily have to be gummy bears. It can be whichever snack you prefer, however, a healthy snack is advised.

4. Listen to music

pigeonsandplanes.com

pigeonsandplanes.com

A little music can give you the concentration you need and help block out your surroundings. Finding the right type of music to go well with your studying is important. Tailor your music playlist to the type of subject you are studying. If you are reading or writing, listen to lyric-less tunes.

There are many music websites and services to help you find your perfect studying mix. For example, Pandora, 8tracks, Songza, and Spotify are great options.

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