UH strives for cheaper textbooks, falls short

Textbooks are expensive. Though UH has taken steps toward lightening the financial burden faced by students, many still suffer consequences of high costs and low availability caused by professors failing to turn in book requests on time to the UH Bookstore.

The University has pursued multiple endeavors to lower textbook costs — including open-source and loose-leaf options — however, more than three quarters of professors had not submitted fall textbook adoptions by the University’s deadline.

In order to alleviate high prices, the bookstore has its adoption deadline for professors in March for the fall semester, well ahead of the deadline required by the state of Texas, said finance senior Valentin Perez, a two-time Bookstore Advisory Committee appointee who is reapplying for a third term.

According to previous coverage by The Cougar, early adoption allows the bookstore to browse and purchase from larger pool of products, offering students more used and rental options.

Late adoptions

UH set the deadline for Summer and Fall 2017 textbook adoptions as March 24. Despite this, Rosen said only 24 percent of professors submitted their adoption requests on time.

Rosen said 21 percent of professors met the deadline for Fall 2016.

“It is important to note that the bookstore usually receives 95 percent of its adoptions prior to the first week of classes,” said UH spokesperson Mike Rosen.

However, Texas House Bill 33 mandates universities set their textbook adoption deadline at least 30 days before the start of each semester, according to previous coverage by The Cougar.

According to the Barnes & Noble College’s FacultyEnlight website, students save anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of the original cost on used and rental books, and if the bookstore has adoptions for the next semester in by the end of the current one, they can buy books back from students at a higher price.

“We will pay 50 percent of the cost of that book if the book will be used next semester,” said Felix Robinson, the general manager at the University of Houston Bookstore, in a 2012 SGA meeting. “We want to be able to buy those books back before students leave.”

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