The cost of brand new college textbooks is incredibly high and can really hurt students’ (and their parents’) budgets. You absolutely need to read this money saving tips to slash the cost of your set works while still having everything you need.
1. Double check what books you need study from
While some books will be essential to your studies, most courses offer a list of ‘recommended reading’ books. You don’t actually have to buy these books, and as we’ll see, you can still have access to them without paying for them. Remember: only buy the absolute necessities.
Your syllabus will usually indicate which books are mandatory to get and which ones you can get by with just having a look at. Sometimes, you just need a couple of chapters out of a book, and there are ways of getting that without buying the whole book.
2. Older editions are usually cheaper
Before you set off in search of the 1st editions so you can compare its price with the 5th edition, you’re supposed to get, ask your professor if you can get away with doing this. Quite often, it’s just fine, and you’ll get all the information you need at a lower price, but sometimes the changes made to the newer editions are relevant to your studies.
3. Share with a friend
If you have a reliable friend in your class that you like having as a ‘study buddy’, you can get away with splitting the list of books you need to buy and share them, socialize and study counts as double fun! The important part here is that your study buddy has to be reliable. If he or she has the book today and you get it tomorrow, the commitment must be honored.
4. Rent don’t buy
We only use most of our textbooks for a semester or two, so renting your book through Chegg, Campus Book Rentals, and other online textbook providers can save you a significant part of the cost. Once you’ve finished using the book, you just return it. Easy!
5. Hit the local libraries
This trick is especially handy for the books you’ll only need for the sake of a few chapters or for a short time during your course. Start with your college’s library and then widen your net. Libraries do loan books to each other, so if you don’t see the book you need on the shelf, ask the librarian if there’s any way to get it. You get free access to the books you need.
6. Look for open source textbooks online
Some websites offer you free access to textbooks. There’s no guarantee that you’ll find what you’re looking for, but if you do, you get full access to the book you need at absolutely no cost. That makes it well worth your while checking this option out.
Try OpenStax College or OER Commons.
7. Buy second hand
Get books from a senior student, check whether your college has a second-hand book network or hit the web. Before you just buy, compare prices. You could find the same book for sale second hand on Amazon, E-Bay, from a fellow student or through Chegg at vastly differing prices.
8. Go digital
So you won’t be able to make notes in the margins – who cares when you can save by opting for an electronic copy instead. And, get this, you can even rent an e-book.
Amazon says you can save up to 80% of the cost of your set works using this option.
9. Compare your book choices quickly with Occupy the Bookstore add-on
You can get a handy Google Chrome add-on called “Occupy the Bookstore.” Visit an online bookstore, select a book, and the app checks other sites for cheaper options. In Occupy the Bookstore’s tutorial, you’ll see a book that costs between $90 -$220 on a bookstore’s website for just $28 elsewhere. If you can get that lucky with the books you need, you aren’t going to be sorry you got that free add-on.
10. Sell back
Once we’ve passed a course, we very rarely refer to our old books. That makes selling your old books to help finance the books you’ll need for next course well worth doing. Put them up for sale on Amazon or Craigslist, and help other money saving students too!
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