Related Posts with Thumbnails

Book smarts! saving on textbooks

Textbook prices tend to rise at four times the rate of inflation for an average of $900 per year. It doesn't take a college education to figure out there are alternatives to traditional outlets, but incoming freshmen don't always know the ropes. Here are some ways to save this fall - none of which include shopping at the college bookstore.

Wait until after you've seen the syllabus Profs must submit their textbook lists far in advance of the next semester, which means they may never require you even open the book. Talk with your professor in the first few days to determine whether it's worth shelling out cash for something that may become a paperweight., the Netflix of textbooks, started a trend several years ago by allowing students to rent their books. You'll pay roughly half the purchase price and shipping is often free. Other similar dealers include and

Watch daily deals Chegg announced in late May they'd begin offering daily deals targeted at college students. Scheduled to start in July, the program will begin with offerings from HP, Capital One and Microsoft, to name a few. Also keep an eye out for offers tailored to students by location - possibly even your local bookstore.

Buy used Used textbook companies have proliferated and even traditional booksellers now both buy and sell used textbooks. The selection has greatly increased and the prices are far superior to college bookstores. Check out, and

Download Few classes require students read every page of a textbook, so why not download the necessary portion from such websites as and Open Courseware from MIT? Project Gutenberg also has scanned in hundreds of free-domain books for use on e-readers.

Don't purchase the whole package Federal regulations no longer allow publishers to combine textbooks with add-ons, such as CD-ROMs and workbooks. Check with your professor or teaching assistant before you buy the whole bundle.

Buy online If you want to physically own a new book, buying online often means free shipping and reduced prices. Grab a coupon code from and shop online at new textbook sellers like, and

International or older versions Non-traditional editions are usually significantly cheaper. There may be some slight changes, but many of these tend to be minor and won't greatly impact use.
Share If you carpool, you know the advantage of splitting the cost of high-ticket expenses. Sharing is easier if you're in the same study group and/or see each other frequently.

Swap Some schools now hold swap meets, where students can trade their old textbooks for the ones they'll need next year.

Compare prices Shopping around. Websites such as, and make the process much easier.


Tracey said...

Having a college kid.. liking this idea very much. It amazes me that books cost sometimes well over 200.00... ouch! Great tips!!

Post a Comment