Class Year


Document Type

Blog Post

Publication Date


Department 1

Center for Public Service


The price of my German textbook is equal to three months of rent with utilities back home. My books for Introduction to Cultural Anthropology equal the cost of feeding my family for a whole month. But these aren’t news. American Enterprise Institute reports that the college textbook prices “are 812 percent higher than they were a little more than three decades ago.”

Some students came to Gettysburg aware of costs, so they moved into first year dorms armed with Amazon Prime memberships and accounts on sites for renting textbooks. Some looked for classes that offer cheaper (or no) textbooks in advance. Because that seems to be our only solution: to learn to shrug shoulders at the injustice and adapt because we learned that it’s normal to pay for education we’re already paying so much for. Having textbooks is considered a required part of enrolling in classes, and the sacrifice that students have to make to afford them is taken for granted. [excerpt]


Surge is a student blog at Gettysburg College where systemic issues of justice matter. Posts are originally published at Through stories and reflection, these blog entries relate personal experiences to larger issues of equity, demonstrating that –isms are structural problems, not actions defined by individual prejudice. We intend to popularize justice, helping each other to recognize our biases and unlearn the untruths.