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  • Made of money

I was the sucker who needed to have every required textbook listed on a college course’s syllabus, regardless of size or practicality. I was also the sucker who thought to himself, “No way am I selling this back to the bookstore. I’m going to reap the benefits of this anthology when I need to brush up on my modern American poetry.” And five years removed from grad school, I’m now the sucker with heaps of dusty, unused textbooks lining the depths of his closet.

Obviously, I graduated from the college life a few years too early—that monthlong European backpacking trip should’ve been extended by at least three years—and never got to enjoy the textbook reform spearheaded by Illinois senator Dick Durbin, one of the top-ranking democrats in the U.S. Senate. Passed in 2008, one piece of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, in so many words, prevents students from dropping their entire two-week Whole Foods paycheck on texts that they’re likely to spend more time falling asleep in than reading over a given semester. Check out the act’s two best bullets below: