The Cost of Being of a College Student

Through our own experience or the second-hand experience we hear from loved ones, we know it's not cheap to be a college student. First and foremost, to go to college is no easy task. According to the College Board Trends in College Pricing report, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2015-2016 school year was $32,405 at private colleges, $9,410 for state residents at public colleges, and $23,893 for out-of-state residents attending public universities. Add in the cost of housing, meals, books and supplies, as well as transportation expenses, a college degree comes with a hefty price tag!

Here's the breakdown of approximate costs and fees by the College Board for 2015-2016 college students:

Public Private
Room & Board $10,138 $11,516
Books & Supplies $1,298 $1,249
Personal & Transportation Expenses $3,215 $2,661

For many college students, their books, school supplies, transportation and personal expenses all come out of the same checking account or loan. This can cause students to choose between one expense or another, potentially harming their academic career if they choose to skimp out on their textbooks.

In August 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported the then $7 billion college-textbook industry was being upended. Students were rarely purchasing new, printed textbooks; instead, they were opting for used books found on sites such as Amazon or forgoing the purchase altogether. In addition, students were finding scanned copies of required texts online via sites like Scribd. This move towards cheaper and even free alternatives to the traditional college textbook forced major publishers to revamp their business models and offer digital, interactive alternatives. But these newer textbook "alternatives" are still out of reach for many students working towards their degrees. In fact, according to Student Monitor, among full-time undergraduate college students, e-textbooks – purchased or rented – make up only 9% of all textbooks purchased. College students are in need of a cost-effective alternative to textbooks that is more than digitally formatted text. They need an option that offers something beyond words that is intellectually stimulating, engaging and – well, different.

Skyepack is a simple solution for faculty and universities looking to break away from the textbook ecosystem. Unlike digital textbooks, Skyepack provides a methodology to help faculty move beyond the textbooks offered to them each year and create something unique and engaging for students to learn from.

Visit our website to learn more about the cost savings Skyepack provides to college students across disciplines.

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About the author

Brady Kalb Jan 31st, 2016

Brady Kalb is the CEO of Skyepack. Brady’s passion for education stems from his desire to "always be learning" and find innovative solutions to difficult problems, and experiences teaching various business and entrepreneurship classes at universities.