One of the most expensive aspects of attending a college or University is the cost of textbooks. Purchasing all of your textbooks new usually costs several hundred dollars and the cost can easily make its way to and above $1,000. Unfortunately, most college courses only use a particular book for a couple of years (if you’re lucky) so purchasing textbooks in advance can be difficult. However, there are ways to get the textbooks you need for less.
Nearly all colleges have bulletin boards around the campus. Use these boards to place an ad for the books you require. With any luck, you’ll be able to find a student who has just finished the course you’re going to be taking and is willing to part with the book for a fraction of its original price. Also, if you have textbooks from courses you’ve already completed, you might be able to find someone willing to trade the textbook or textbooks you’re looking for in exchange for the textbooks you already have and no longer need. Trading is one of the best ways to minimize the amount of money you spend on textbooks. By swapping textbooks, you’re essentially getting the use of 2 books for the price of one.
College courses tend to have the newest edition of a particular textbook in the list of required materials but students can often get by with the less expensive previous edition. In many cases, new editions of college textbooks contain only minor changes and some have virtually no significant changes from one edition to the next. Your course’s instructor will probably have already made comparisons between the old and new editions of the required textbook and noted the changes. Talk to your instructor and find out if you will be able to use an older edition of the textbook. It should be much easier to find a used copy of the previous edition since a newer edition of the textbook has been published.
If the instructor for a particular course teaches mostly from notes and not from the textbook, another option that can save you some money is to buy a textbook with a classmate and split the cost. This option is especially viable if you have a roommate taking some of the same courses as you. Keep in mind that this method of saving money on college textbooks may not be suitable for courses that assign a lot of reading from the textbook.
While this may not be the most convenient option, if you’re really looking to save on college textbooks, you should also check if your college’s library has some of the textbooks you need. While most college libraries won’t allow you to check out textbooks, you’ll be able to use them as needed, free of charge. Just be sure to work on assignments as early as possible. This will keep you from having to compete with other students to get your hands on a copy of the textbook shortly before the assignment is due.
Purchasing your textbooks online is also a good way to save money. While used copies of textbooks for a particular course may quickly be sold out at your college’s local bookstore, you might be able to find them online instead. The downside to this is that you’ll have to wait for the books to be delivered, which can be a problem for courses that assign work out of the textbook on the first day. However, you can always work with a classmate or check the library for a copy until your textbooks arrive.
There are a lot of ways to save money on your college textbooks if you put in a little extra effort. Some of these money saving tips may not be the most convenient solutions but college is expensive. Any way to minimize the cost is worth it.