Many college students will be going back to school soon, so I decided to put together a series of savings tips for college students. Many of the tips that I share are ones that I used myself while I was in college. One of the largest expenses for college students other than rent and tuition, are the dreaded textbooks. The amount that publishers charge for textbooks is criminal. Plus, some of them package a textbook with the workbook and practice tests, so you are forced to buy the entire package or nothing at all. It’s sick, and college students know it. Here’s what you can do.
- Check your local used text book store. The prices are typically 15% to 30% cheaper than new text books.
- Check Half.com, Craigslist, and Amazon.com for used text books at a fraction of the price.
- Go to the first class before buying textbooks, and ask the professor specifically how much he or she will use the text book. You may find out that you don’t need it at all or you may be able to get away with checking the book out at a library periodically throughout the semester.
- Share a textbook with a friend. Work out a system where you take the book for a certain amount of time to study with it, and your friend takes it for the rest of the time.
- Check out a textbook swap website such as bookswap.com, swapbooks.com, and collegebookswap.com to get rid of old textbooks for ones you need.
- Publishers love to make new editions just to sell new textbooks and make used ones obsolete. The dirty little secret is that some older editions have EXACTLY the same content as newer editions, and you can find older editions for DEEP discounts.
Don’t settle for paying full price for your textbooks. It’s not worth it, and many professors rely heavily on their own notes for the course cirriculum. More often than not, textbooks are only a reference, rather than the bulk of the cirriculum for a college course. Choose wisely, and do your research. You’ll literally save hundreds of dollars if you follow the tips I listed above.