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10 Top Tips to Save Big on College Textbooks

UserMark time25 February,2016

According to a recent report, the prices of college textbooks have gone up by 135% since 2001. If you look at the numbers provided by Collegeboard.org, college textbooks cost a student $1,200 on an average each year. Not to forget, students also need to take care of other expenses like tuition fee, administration fee and exam fees from time to time.

10 Tips to Save Big on College Textbooks

Whether you are an independent person, earning just about enough to cover your expenses or someone who is struggling to meet his expenses, saving money on the textbooks can benefit you both. No, we are not suggesting you compromise your studies by not getting the textbooks. We are here to suggest you 10 effective tips to save money on college textbooks.

  1. Sharing is caring:

If 4 people can share the same Netflix account to save money every month, there shouldn't be any problem sharing the same textbook with 4 friends. At the beginning of a semester, sit with your friends in class to decide who will buy which book.

If one buys Book A, the rest three can buy Book B, Book C, and Book D respectively. Share the books among each other when needed. And if all you need the textbook on the same day, you can simply click photos of the necessary chapters on the book and send them to others on mail.

  1. Visit the library:

A wise person once said, “When in doubt, go to the library”. Your college library may not as interesting as Hogwarts Library, but you can certainly find the copies of frequently-assigned textbooks in there. Borrow the book when you need it and then return it.

Unlike the shared copy, you need to take care of certain things while using a copy of the textbook borrowed from the library. Firstly, you cannot use any highlighter or ink in the book. And, you need to return it on time. Otherwise, you will have to pay the penalty or late fee.

  1. Rent the book:

You may have already heard about the option of renting textbooks online. CampusBooks, Amazon and several other websites provide books for rent to students. Renting a book can save up to 90% of the original price of the book.

Renting is perhaps the best way to save money on expensive books. However, the websites which offer books on rent also have some guidelines that you need to follow while using their rented books. The good thing is that you can choose the rental term as per your requirements.

  1. Buy used books:

If you need the textbooks with you all the time, and you still want to save money on the textbooks, go for the used books. Websites like Amazon, eBay, and Chegg sell used books at an affordable price. Moreover, the books available on these websites are in very good condition.

You can also ask your cousins who have already completed their college education & college assignments to give their textbooks to you if they don’t need them anymore. If you are lucky, you can get the used books for free from these family members.

  1. Buy eBooks:

The eBooks are usually a lot cheaper than the paperbacks and hardbound ones. So, if you want your college textbooks cheap, you should definitely consider availing eBooks over their physical counterparts. You can use it on your smartphone, tablet, laptops – on the go.

It is a far better option than renting a book or buying a used one as you get the latest edition of the book in digital format, which will never wear out. Also, you can take print of certain chapters as per your need without having to worry about getting a perfect scan.

  1. Look for free copies online:

If you have some time to spare, you can invest it in looking for the textbook for free on the internet. We are asking you to spare some time from your schedule because this may take time to find the textbooks you are looking for.

You can check out public domains like Project Gutenberg, where you can find a great number of eBooks for absolutely zero cost. If you are pursuing your major in humanities, you can find the course materials online if not the entire textbook you are looking for. Or, science students, it can be a lot more time-consuming to find the necessary textbooks for free.

  1. Buy books at the best price:

If you have been buying the textbooks from the campus bookstore, you need to make a change this time. Check out other bookstores in your area. You may even find a number of stores which sells used books. Compare the prices and buy the books from the store that’s offering the best price.

You can also find great deals on textbooks from the online bookstores. Amazon is definitely the one you should visit. Besides, there are several other small-time online bookstores which offer massive discounts on college textbooks.

  1. Use the open textbook network:

You may be unaware of this, but there’s something called Open textbook Network, which allows you to share academic textbooks online with your peers from different parts of the world. The textbooks found in the open textbook library are “free, openly licensed, and complete”, which means students can have full access to the entire text at free of cost.

The problem is you have to convince your college faculty members to choose the entirety of their coursework through the network. Once your faculty members do that, you can use your student email address to access the resources on the website.

  1. Check your financial aid:

A number of academic institutes make it easier for students to afford the textbooks by funnelling some of the financial aid towards the books. If you are lucky, you can use the existing grant that remains after paying the tuition fee to pay for the assignments & textbooks.

Pay a visit to your financial aid officer and get the issue clarified. Ask if the financial aid you are granted can be used to purchase books or not.

  1. Use scholarship money:

Scholarship money is given to particular students to help meet his expenses related to studies. If you have received a scholarship, you should obviously read the terms thoroughly. Most scholarships can be used to buy textbooks.

If you don’t have any scholarship on you, you can apply for one and make your college life less stressful by using the scholarship money to pay for all the study-related expenses – starting from paying for the textbooks to paying your tuition fees, and even accommodation fee.

As you can see, there are several ways to save money on your college textbooks. While some tips show you how to buy cheap college textbooks, some give you other alternatives to your college textbooks. If you are also looking for affordable options for assignment writing services, you can also find it here.

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