Western Colorado college students return to classes August 22, and that means they're going to fork over big bucks for tuition, and... for books. Just how much does a college textbook cost nowadays? Here are a few examples.

If one were to travel back in time to Mesa State College of 1988, a textbook costing $50 would be painful, but not uncommon. In some instances, a book could run as high as $100. Fortunately, most were in the $30-$40 range.

The Colorado Mesa University web page offers a service where students can compare textbook prices between the CMU bookstore and other outlets. For the purpose of determining how much one might spend in a single semester, all of the books in this example are from 100 level General Ed courses. Check out these examples:

Colorado Mesa University official webpage
Colorado Mesa University official webpage
Colorado Mesa University official webpage
Colorado Mesa University official webpage

If a student were to take a light load of classes, these four listed above for example, and bought only used copies of the required textbooks, the total would be as follows:

  • $149.25
  • $118.75
  • $143.50
  • $149.00

Total = $560.50

Well, I guess none of them will be able to afford to retire anytime soon. Here's looking forward to a good paying job, and the opportunity to attempt to pay off these books.