College textbooks can be expensive. However, by putting some tips into action, students can save some money.
Here are six ways to save money on books for college classes:
1. Buy used books
In an attempt to get back some of the money spent on textbooks at the beginning of the semester, many college students sell their books at the end of the semester. That means there are often a lot of used books to choose from – which means finding a good deal is easy because used books are cheaper than new ones. People can look for book exchange groups on campus or check their campus’ bookstore, where secondhand copies may be available for a lower price. Also, online sites such as Amazon, Chegg, eCampus, and CampusBooks sell used textbooks.
2. Buy older editions
Most publishers create new textbook editions for students to buy every year, even if the learning materials have remained essentially the same. If the professor allows, students can save money by purchasing an older edition of a textbook. Students can contact their professor before the semester begins and ask if an older edition would be acceptable. Books that are several years older than the current edition are likely to sell for a far lower price.
3. Rent textbooks
Many bookstores now offer the option of renting instead of purchasing textbooks. However, it’s important to do the math on rentals before making a decision. When renting, people need to keep the book in good condition and avoid highlighting or taking notes inside the book. Returning a book in poor condition may mean having to pay fees or ultimately buy it.
4. Use the library
A completely free option is for students to check the local or campus library for copies of popular textbooks. Again, students should confirm with their professor that the edition in the library is current enough. While free, keep in mind that the library might only let students access the book in the library itself, instead of allowing them to check it out. Also, most likely the books will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. So if the library has two copies of the textbook, and three people request the book at the same time, someone will be out of luck.
5. Share a book
Students could decide to share one copy of a textbook with someone else who is taking the same class. This way they could split the cost of the book.
Students can find all kinds of scholarships on scholarships.com. Retailers like Barnes & Noble offer scholarships just for textbooks. College textbooks can be expensive, but putting these tips into action can lead to some big savings.