WSU should give students realistic cost estimates

Prices for books, other materials should be available to students with tuition so they budget accordingly



Students always have to pay for more than their tuition states at the start of every year for books and other materials, making any estimates students use to budget their finances inaccurate. WSU needs to address these additional charges for clarity.

BRUCE MULMAT, Evergreen columnist

Knowledge is power, and WSU should empower its students. Informing students on every cost associated with their classes gives them better chances of successfully budgeting for school each semester.

The largest variable for students is textbook costs, which can range from less than a hundred bucks to nearly a thousand for physical copies and online access codes. This leads to students going to Chegg and other sites for a better deal, making The Bookie lose money.

ASWSU Vice President Tyler Parchem understands this issue and has been trying to find a solution alongside other groups.

“There is the Costs Reduction Committee,” Parchem said. “One of the things they are trying to get in on the course catalog is basically a syllabus you can click onto and see a list of the books you would have to buy.”

This committee has been making considerable headway into providing more information to students who are looking to budget. However, this idea still needs to be approved by the Faculty Board and Senate before it can be implemented, which most likely won’t be anytime soon.

“I don’t want to say in the next couple years, but down the road,” Parchem said.

These changes are still not certain. This leaves time to troubleshoot the proposed changes and address how students are able to budget for these additional costs, ensuring students get the most information when signing up for their classes.

Budgeting is key for college students and additional fees that are critical for classes should be upfront costs. It makes it easier for students to come to an informed financial decision when deciding what they need to do to pay for school.

“I don’t want to spend a bunch of money that I don’t have to if there is another class that does not have these additional costs,” Parchem said.

Schools need to make money, but they can still make the money they need and provide more information in order to have students be able to plan. Balanced finances are important to surviving college, so WSU should have the courtesy to provide students with information on the additional costs of each class.

Raising tuition to alleviate the cost of books and other materials would be a win-win for both students and faculty. Outlining the cost of books for each class would be a less aggressive measure that could be a temporary solution to a larger problem.

The real solution is including the cost of books in tuition for each major. This may not be preferred by everyone, but it would streamline the process of figuring out how to pay for school.

Students know that everything always has a hidden cost. From books to additional lab fees, we all have to pay more than tuition to get everything out of our classes. It’s a way for WSU to nickel-and-dime students and a straight tuition hike is better for students working on a tight budget if money’s what they need.

If WSU wants to be seen as a university for all, transparency with books and materials is the best way to start. This would enable prospective students to see WSU as an honest institution and its best choice for an education at a fair price as compared to others.