People rushing left and right, buying items required by their professors for their respective classes. Back-to-school shopping is always chaotic. However, all the pencils, binders, books, papers, e-books and calculators very often add up to over $200.

 There was once a simpler time 10 years ago when parents would buy their children school supplies with no worries about cost. However, college students’ expenses are notably overpriced, the most noteworthy example being the student bookstore even on the Cal Poly Pomona campus.

Only a decade ago, technology wasn’t as popular or advanced as it is now. It is used for purchasing or downloading books online and receiving updates from professors on applications such as Blackboard.

Most students also need computers or laptops to turn in their classwork or homework.

Students like Carlos Olivares, a fourth-year communication major, use their laptops for many of their classes because it makes it easier and faster to complete tasks. 

“I used to spend a lot on paper or notebooks, but now most of my classes provide a computer to write my notes in,” Olivares said.

Textbooks and other materials now available at Bronco store for purchase. (Lauren Scheer | The Poly Post)

However, the most expensive and important items needed in many classes are books. Depending on the student’s professor, some will require the latest edition that normally also cost over $100.

Because of this additional financial burden, students are now finding different ways to rent or borrow books for half the price. These are available online at stores such as Chegg, BookLender, Amazon and more. However, at times, even at half the price, books collectively can add up to a hefty price.  

Samantha Delgado, a second-year liberal studies major, spends most of her money on textbooks. Though the demand for pens, pencils and binders isn’t as high as it was previously, Delgado likes to be prepared and stocks up on sticky notes, notebooks and more. She spent $80 on supplies for this upcoming fall semester. 

 “Thankfully there are websites like Chegg and even the Bronco Bookstore has good prices, but it is pretty costly in total,” Delgado said.

 Moreover, some professors demand students to purchase an online book with an access code. Access codes are for purchase only, so it also becomes an additional cost.

Gisela Armendariz, a fourth-year communication major, spends most of her money on books, parking passes and food. Books drain wallets the fastest, as Armendariz has spent a whopping $115 on books alone. To cut costs on other supplies, Armendariz plans to reuse her stationary items for another two semesters.

Delgado and Armendariz prefer hand writing their homework and reading print instead of staring at a screen all day and relying on a computer to submit their work. Nevertheless, whether they use hardcover textbook or e-books, it still becomes expensive and overwhelming for students.

Textbooks and other materials now available at Bronco store for purchase.

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