With some textbooks costing $100 and up, purchasing them outright can use up a bundle of your summer savings.
It’s almost time to hit the books again, and ironically, this leaves quite a dent in the wallet, not the books. According to many students, expensive tuition is not the only financial burden they have to deal with. You might be thinking that computers or wireless devices are high on the list, and you’re probably right. But so is the steep cost of college textbooks, and it’s forcing many students to find ways to avoid going broke as they head back to school.
According to one estimate, college students spent on average about $1,200 for textbooks and school supplies in 2013. With some textbooks costing $100 and up, purchasing them outright can use up a bundle of your summer savings.
As you think of the hundreds of pages you’ll be pouring over in the next few months, here’s a few ways to keep the money from pouring out of your pocketbook when it comes to school textbooks.
Renting textbooks is becoming a popular choice for many students, as it offers significant discounts to buying, sometimes up to 80 per cent, and usually provides you with a neat and clean textbook. At the end of the semester, you simply return the book, without worrying about what to do with it now that you no longer need it. Doodlers be warned, however: to avoid expensive penalties, keep your books in good condition!
2) Buy Used
If you’re not looking for a book in perfect condition, buying used can save you a bundle of money. Sites like Amazon, eBay, or Chegg are a good option, or look in independent bookstores close to your school for used textbooks. Check with your professor to see if older editions are still acceptable to use in class.
3) Use E-books
Here’s where a kindle or similar device can save you money. Depending on the courses you’re taking, using e-books may result in huge savings. For example, if you’re studying literature, you’ll be able to download many classics for free. Some textbooks will still be extremely expensive, but it doens’t hurt to check, and it will save you from lugging heavy books around!
4) Compare Online Prices
Campus bookstores are notorious for being expensive. In fact, a report by the National Association of College Stores trade association in the U.S. says that fewer than half of all texts are purchased at campus bookstores. So, if you’ve decided you want to buy a new textbook, go online and search for the best deal. You’ll likely find prices to be up to two thirds cheaper than at a campus bookstore. Usethe ISBN number to search for books to ensure you are looking for the right one. Before completing an online order, make sure the book is not back-ordered or temporarily unavailable.When you’re finished with a textbook, sell it or take advantage of textbook buyback options to recoup some of your costs.
So, when you hit the books this fall, go easy on your wallet by using these cost-saving measures. You may not be able to do much about the high price of tuition, but you can trim costs when it comes to getting college textbooks.