Summer break isalmost over and it’s that time of the year where you need to pull up your socks and get ready for the upcoming academic year. The cost of tuition fees is already considerably high – now, an average public college education costs nearly $10,000-$12,000 per year and master degree programs, almost cost twice that much.
Included in the rising cost of education is the cost of textbooks. Required course books can be one of the biggest expenses for students on a tight budget.
If you have not yet purchased a college textbook, you will be surprised to see how much these books cost nowadays. A standard math textbook can easily cost you $150 or more. Thus, if your course requirement is to get five-six such books in a year along with other study material, these costs can easily add up. If you're looking to save money and avoid the bookstore, these are some tips for you.
Do Not Buy From The Campus Bookstore
The first and foremost step for saving money on textbooks is by avoiding the campus bookstore. While campus bookstores are a convenient option, they are usually more expensive compared to other options. The only time when you should buy a textbook from the campus bookstore is when you cannot find the book anywhere else.
Opt For Second Hand Books
When you are on a tight budget, the last thing you would want to do is look for new books. Once your class or particular course is over, you will not need these books in the future. Hence, you should opt for used books and avoid being picky. You will save a substantial amount of money which can be used for something productive.
While searching for a second hand textbook can take time, do not give up easily. You can also keep checking the co-op, or student runned bookstore on campus, for used textbooks on sale.
Purchase Books Online
The best way to go about it is to check out Amazon, eBay and Kijiji, as soon as you receive the list of the required textbooks. Students have been using online platforms for a long time to find books at lower prices and in good condition. Moreover, there are higher chances of getting an older edition textbook which is usually not available at the campus or local bookstores.
Buy It with Your Friend
Another way to save money on textbooks is by sharing it with your friend. There are certain books which you need to carry in class. Hence, find a friend who is also enrolled in the same course as you. This will allow you to share easily share the textbook. Moreover, you will only have to pay half of the original price.
Go For eBooks
There are significant price differences when buying a physical book or an e-book. Choosing a digital version of a textbook has several advantages – for example, you can get e-books at a lower price and these are eco-friendly as well.
However, before finalizing the purchase, just make sure to check for any restrictions, blocked content etc.
Ask For It in Your Network
If you are friends with students in your college or from other colleges, there is a good chance that they might have studied from the same book you require. You can either personally ask for a particular book or post your requirements on different social media platforms.
Try The Library
Both the local, and campus library are great choices, and can save you from spending any money on textbooks. On campus, the library often has every textbook on reserve for those who can not afford to purchase them. Simply go to the desk, ask for the book, and sign it out for the time of your choosing.
The Public library is another great option. They may not have the widest selection of textbooks, but for generic books and reads required by your professor, there's really no better option.