As much as the high cost of college tuition seems to be hogging news headlines lately, there is one set of college expenses you have a lot of control over – textbooks. While you don’t have much control over college tuition fees, you can cut down on the dollars you shell out for textbooks by following some simple tips.
Here are the 4 ways you can save a ton on college textbooks.
Get Your Books From Used Textbook Stores
One of the oldest ways to save money on textbooks is to buy them used. As you would expect, used books usually sell for a fraction of the cost of new versions.
The downside to this approach is availability. If the textbook you want is a new edition, it is probably going to be very hard to find a used version.
The workaround to this is to find out which parts of the new edition are completely new. If the old version is substantially the same, you can stick with the old version and save even more money. Why? Used textbook prices drop a lot when a new edition comes out. Just make sure you borrow a copy of the new edition from a friend and compare to the old edition. This way you know which parts are new.
Rent Your Books
Why buy when you can rent? Do you ever find yourself needing to go back and reference any of your old textbooks after the course is over? I doubt it.
There are many online textbook rental sites. You can save quite a bit of money renting your textbooks instead of buying them. Of course, you need to factor in shipping and handling costs though.
Many textbook publishers are now producing digital textbooks. In fact, the pricing for many digital textbooks is much lower than hardbound physical books. This should not be a surprise. The overhead for publishing ebooks is much lower than physical books. Also, publishers save on transportation and warehousing and other expenses.
Keep in mind that you can’t freely share ebooks though. Many have license restrictions which limit your ability to share them as well as print them out.
Use Free Public Domain Sources
An English course may require you to read half a dozen books in a semester. If any part of your reading list includes really old literary works or historical works, chances are there are free versions of those items available in an archive online somewhere. Search for these archives and save some serious money.
Thanks to the Internet, college students and their parents don’t have to take the high cost of college sitting down. Use the tips above so you can put a major dent on your textbook expenses.