How much a student should pay for a calculus textbook?

Me to Promislow, December 13, 2017, 5:09 p.m.

A couple of weeks ago you told me that the new textbook for MTH 124 costs (to the students) about $30.00-40.00.

The course schedule at the Office of Registrar web site directs students to the required course materials. It turns out that a textbook for $120.00 is required.

Who was misled: me, you, or the Office of Registrar?

Promislow to me, December 13, 2017, 10:04 p.m.

The course pack (Webwork+notes) is $40, the book, suggested, not required, is probably the higher amount you list below. If you would like to recommend materials for you course, send a list to Debie (cc Pavel and Dave Bramer) and include you section number(s).

Me to Promislow, December 13, 2017, 10:29 p.m.

I wanted to look at what is required.

I picked up a random section of 124 and followed the link from RO.
Here is the screenshot of what a student will see.

PDF of a screenshot

Me to Promislow, December 14, 2017, 3:20 a.m.

Here is the relevant part of a class page:

https://sites.google.com/site/mth124msu/syllabus/supplies

(The page may change in the next term. Here is a screenshot: Supplies – MTH124, Survey of Calculus I, Monday-Wednesday-Friday Sections. – Added for this post.)

The textbook is “recommended” with the following explanations:

“The textbook listed above is recommended for this course. This means that for a student to be successful they should purchase the text. An important component of the course is the suggested homework which is assigned from the text. The lectures will also correspond to sections from the textbook so it is a valuable reference material. Students are not required to bring the textbook to lecture.”

This is just a hypocrisy. The textbook is *required*.

The minimal expenses, according to this page, are about $60.00 (used textbook) + $40.00 (WeBWork fee) + $45 (used calculator) = $145.00

The new textbook is either $97.00 or $120.00. I did not checked how much a new calculator may cost because the model is not specified.

The syllabus also suggests to print out suggested course notes at the cost 5-10 cents per page. This is again “not required” because students may write down them by hand!

This all is just a shame.

And what was the point of misleading me? Is it just a habit?

Of course, I got no reply to this message.

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