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How To Save Big Money On College Textbooks

 November 7, 2014  /  Comments Off on How To Save Big Money On College Textbooks

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If you are heading off to college, you or your parents will be writing out checks to cover tuition, fees, as well as room and board. These costs alone can strain any budget. What may prove the ultimate budget breaker for some is the cost of purchasing textbooks and supplies, pegged at $1,200 per year by the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) as of Jan. 2014. Fortunately, there are ways you can cut those costs, including the following money-saving options.

Review Your Courses

If you have not yet signed up for your classes, then do so immediately. Once you are registered, then you will know what books are required for your classes.

Once your class schedule has been set, head over to the college bookstore to find out what books are required and for which classes. Your college bookstore has that information, what is posted before your first class is held. Do not plan to buy your books just yet, but do jot down the names of each title and the cost. Bring with you a pen and paper or snap this information with your smartphone advises DailyU.

Head to the Library

Certain college textbooks may be carried by your college library or even by your public library. If so, find out how long the book can be checked out. Some libraries allow at least one renewal while others may allow you to take a book for the entire semester.

Often, the book that is in the library is an older edition. Even so, it may have enough pertinent information to help you for the semester. You can always check the book out and then compare it with a current copy. If the changes are small, then you have a usable borrowed textbook for as long as the library says that you can have it.

How To Save Big Money On College Textbooks

Consider a Used Book

Another option for finding a textbook is to find a used copy from a student who has already completed the course. Place a note on Facebook or on some other public site where you connect with your classmates and ask your contacts if they have a copy. You might also ask them to share your need among their own social media contacts.

If you do not have success via social media, another place to search is online. Used books are available on Amazon.com, EBay, Alibris and on other sites. Search carefully and you may turn up a bargain through the Internet.

Rent Your Books

Instead of buying books and paying full price you can rent your textbooks for the semester and save 50 to 75 percent or more.

The businesses that provide this service include: Chegg, BookRenter.com, Textbooks.com and eCampus.com. Explore each one by checking out their inventories and reviewing their shipping and return policies.

Share With Another Student

Consider sharing a textbook with another student. Instead of either one of you paying full price you would buy the book together and split that cost down the middle.

You can make this option work if you are both committed to sharing the book. Ideally, this person would either be your roommate or a dorm mate, someone you would see on a regular basis.

Make Money By Selling Your Books

You can defray the cost of buying books by selling your textbooks from last semester. Tell people what you own by sharing that information on social media sites such as Facebook, particularly on pages that are read by other students. If your school still has public bulletin boards, then post that information on these as well.

Take the money that you earned from selling your old books to fund your new books. It won’t cover all your costs, but it can make a big difference in what you will have to pay this semester.

Textbook Considerations

Another option is to get together with your club, fraternity, sorority or other group of students to swap books. This can be a quick and easy way to exchange what you have without cash changing hands.

Finally, if you still cannot afford to rent or buy books speak with your professor. You may learn that at least one of those titles is not a requirement or he may provide another method for you to have access to the books that you need.

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