Aside from the exorbitant cost of tuition, one of the biggest expenses college students face each year, is textbooks. When you’re on a tight budget, the last thing you want to do is spend money unnecessarily. Before you open up your wallet, check out these simple ways to save money on college textbooks.
Skip the campus bookstore
While it’s convenient, the bookstore on campus is generally more expensive than other options. Unless you absolutely can’t find what you need elsewhere, avoid the college bookstore if you want to save money.
Why purchase a brand new textbook, that you’ll likely only use for a few months, at full price? If you’re willing to do a little research, it’s not difficult to find used versions of most textbooks on websites like Craigslist, eBay, and Amazon. Just be sure to check that you’re getting the correct edition (confirm the book ISBN), and verify the condition before purchasing any used textbooks.
More and more publishers are offering digital versions of textbooks at a fraction of the price. Not only is this option more eco-friendly and easier on the budget, it’ll also save you from lugging heavy books around campus.
Discuss alternatives with your professors
Many professors are understanding and willing to help their students in any way possible. Often times, the syllabus will list textbooks that they don’t even plan on using, and there is nothing quite as frustrating as spending hundreds of dollars on a book that sits untouched. A quick discussion with each professor, to find out what the necessary required materials are, could save you big bucks.
Once you start checking numerous websites and bookstores for textbooks, it can be shocking to see the varying prices. One of the books my son needed for his trigonometry class last year was $60 higher at the campus bookstore, than online. A little bit of time spent researching prices can save you a bundle in the end.
Share with another student
If you have a roommate or close friend who is taking the same class as you, simply pool your money and share the cost of the textbook you need. This can be a little tricky, and might require you to be especially flexible and patient, but it will allow you to have access to the materials you need at half the price.
What are your tips for saving money on college textbooks? Add your suggestions in the comments below.