York Students Worried About Rising Prices in Bookstores

By Marc Torres

With the increase of online bookstores in some CUNY colleges, some York College students are worried about the price of materials in the physical bookstores they purchase their books in.

Unlike York College, Queens College ended its 20-year contract with their bookstore in hopes of having a newer and better alternative. This new system, which began in April, is completely digitized. Students can buy ebooks, textbooks, magazines, and other school supplies. Queens College is one of four other schools in the CUNY system to make this radical change. John Jay College, Medgar Evers College, and the CUNY School of Law have already joined the future of college bookstores.

“It’s way too expensive to buy and rent books from there,” said Emmanuel Ogunji, a York College student. “I wish there were more choices.”

In a survey conducted with 22 York College students, 13 students said they purchase  get their textbooks and materials from online stores, more specifically Amazon. Some of the students said that the material they get from the online database is cheaper than getting it from the college bookstore.

“When the bookshop can do better, students will buy [more] from there,” said Ingrid Thomas, a York College student. “It’s cheaper! I got my Spanish book for $13.00!”  

Online, Thomas’ textbook is under $20 but the York College bookstore charges around $200 for that same textbook.  

Not all students have the time to go to physical bookstores and shop. Some students said online shopping is really helpful with purchasing supplies, too. Students can shop for what they need from their phone. With a literal swipe across their screen, their transactions take place in mere seconds. They do not have to wait in long lines or worry about wasting time looking for what they need.

“It’s more convenient!” said Devaughn Edwards, another York College student.  “[Amazon] sends it right to my door.”  

If a student signs up for Amazon Prime, another online app, their package will be delivered in two days. But even with the many online apps, York College bookstore suggests that they are doing just fine.  

 “We’re honored to have served the York College community for over 14 years and look forward to continuing to serve its students, faculty and alumni for many years to come,” said Dawn Pess, an assistant manager of the bookstore. “We’ll continue to partner with and support the college and its senior leadership in the future.”

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