Student-Led Initiative Helps Save on Book Cost
Buying books can be expensive. Every semester many students have to make a decision that may hurt their academic progress – buy all the books required or forgo the expense to save a little money.
Students at The Ohio State University at Mansfield have decided to try to help each other out a bit by attending a textbook swap. Kidron Stamper, who serves as the student member of the Ohio State Mansfield Board of Trustees, helped coordinate the event. “As the student trustee, one of my big tasks is to help with college affordability,” Stamper explains. “Classes already cost money, so I came up with this idea where students can trade books at the beginning of the semester to help cut their expenses a little.”
More than 20 students came to the first day of the event held at the Student Center in Eisenhower. They filled out cards with their name and information on it including what textbook they are looking for as well as what books they are willing to swap. Stamper provided students with additional information about the Student2Student website where they can connect with other Ohio State Mansfield students who are selling the book they might need.
The swap comes at a time when students are looking for ways to save before the next semester beings. Meghan Zier, a sophomore early childhood education major, attended the swap and dropped off a few items. She says, “I am just trying to see if I can trade my books. I will get a list of books then I’ll come here and check if anyone is selling their used books.”
“It will hopefully save me some money,” Zier said with an encouraging smile. “I am a college student, so saving a little bit of money is very important to me. I figured why not come here to see what might be available and maybe help a fellow student find the book they need as well.”
The Mansfield campus prides itself on its ability to support students and help them succeed. Students struggle with everything from the ability to buy textbooks after they’ve run through all their other expenses to not being able to make rent. Faculty and staff are very cognizant how financial stability is the foundation that you have to have in place before learning can happen. They know that if students don’t have their basic needs covered, they are not learning effectively. A student emergency fund was established to provide short-term financial assistance to qualified students who have unforeseen expenses and lack the resources to meet those costs. Some examples of those costs include a tuition shortfall, a sudden health emergency or a natural disaster.
Stamper says the book swap is a student-led initiative and another way to support students across the Ohio State Mansfield campus. “Sometimes textbooks can be hundreds of dollars and just finding a way to pay for their textbooks could be standing in the way of a student and their diploma. Instead of buying textbooks for hundreds of dollars, students might be able to trade for books they need which will save them money.”
He hopes to continue to book swap through at least the next semester and hopefully beyond.
Meanwhile, the campus continues to expand additional fill-the-gap measures as well: an on-campus food pantry, degree-completer grants for students close to graduation, and the Buckeye Opportunity Program for Pell eligible students.