CUNY students deserve access to discounted textbooks

As the price of textbooks continues to escalate past affordability, CUNY has turned to Akademos, an online bookstore provider that promises a 60 percent cut in textbook prices.

This initiative is particularly helpful for students who struggle to pay for expensive textbooks, pointing them in a direction that allows them to get their textbooks for much cheaper.

The Akademos supplement to the traditional bookstore experience has already been implemented at four CUNY schools: CUNY School of Law, John Jay College, Queens College and Medgar Evers College.

Over the next year, the opportunity to buy books conveniently and cheaply will expand to eight other schools within the CUNY system, including Baruch College.

The layout of Akademos truly helps students save money on textbooks. The website features a peer-to-peer marketplace, which connects students to third-party sellers such as those found on An analytics portal for faculty provides an easy-to-read format for choosing textbook options and allows staff members to see what texts are being used and helps them select the highest possible quality materials at the lowest possible price.

While students can find similar deals on other websites, Akademos is preferable because it allows students to purchase textbooks using their remaining financial aid funds. The website will allow students to buy and rent new and used books or purchase an e-book, much like Baruch’s own bookstore, but for a cheaper price.

Textbooks are a considerable expense for students, but CUNY is making strides to help by providing them with access to a source that will allow them to purchase their books at a highly discounted price.

However, this version of Akademos is only available at 12 of the 20 schools in the CUNY system.

While Baruch students are lucky to have the opportunity to purchase books for considerably less money than students at other colleges, this privilege should be extended to all of the colleges in the CUNY system. All students within the CUNY system should be able to receive the same benefits from their individual colleges.

It is unfair to give easy access to a select portion of schools within the CUNY system while ignoring other the other schools in the system. Considering the fact that this is a technological advancement, it seems like it would be extremely easy for every single school within the CUNY system to access Akademos. CUNY has 500,000 enrolled students who deserve the best that they can get.