How college students can save on textbooks.

How College Students Can Save on Textbooks

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Don’t let the price of textbooks put you in debt this semester. According to College Board, students spent close to $1,300 on books and supplies during the 2018 – 2019 school year. As a college student, you are on a tight budget, so here are a few tips on how you can save on textbooks.

Review Your Syllabus – First things first, check your syllabus. Find out textbook requirements for each course. There may be a chance you can find the course material free online or at the library. 

Check with Your Instructor – During syllabus week, be sure to check with your instructor to verify the listed textbook is required. If possible, see if you can get an older edition of the textbook. Older editions are traditionally identical to the current version, they just have minor changes and are lower in price.

Rent vs. Buying – Typically, renting textbooks comes at a much lower cost than flat out buying the book. See if your campus bookstore has an option for you to rent the textbook. You can also look online for rental options.

Utilize Online Bookstores – Check out online stores like Chegg and Amazon.  They offer rentals and purchasing options for students at a lower cost. The process is pretty straight forward; they send you the book, and at the end of the semester you send it back. Also, shipping is free!

Subscribe for Textbooks – Discounts on textbooks are available via subscription-based services. Cengage, a well-known publisher, offers a subscription that costs about $120 per semester for unlimited access to more than 20,000 digital course materials, which includes textbooks. 

Don’t Buy Hardback Books – If you must buy a textbook, opt-in for the eBook or loose-leaf format. The cost difference between a print and digital version of a textbook can be dramatic. If you would rather have a physical copy instead of an eBook most companies sell the textbook in loose-leaf binders.

Share a Textbook – If you and a friend are taking the same course, it could be wise for you to share a textbook. You can buy one textbook and split the cost. This also makes for a good way to study with a partner.

Resell Your Books – At the end of the semester, resell the books you no longer need. Ask yourself, do I need to keep this textbook, and will I need it for future courses? If the answer is no - sell it back. You may not get the full amount back, but it will give you a few extra spending dollars.

What did I miss? If you have any other tips or ideas on how students can save, leave them here.

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