A textbook budget may not be the first thing you think of when calculating your out-of-pocket expenses for college, especially in light of the high cost of things like tuition, housing, and board. But textbook prices can be quite pricey.
Because you never know precisely how much you will need for the academic year, budgeting for the cost of college textbooks may be challenging. This post will discuss 10 different techniques to save costs as well as the typical price of college textbooks.
HOW MUCH MONEY DO COLLEGE STUDENTS SPEND ON BOOKS AND OTHER SUPPLIES?
When creating a budget for a four-year university or community college, many college students neglect to account for the cost of textbooks and other course materials. College textbooks are not known for being inexpensive, and some students utilize financial assistance to offset the cost while others pay out of pocket.
In a private institution, the average cost of books and supplies for the 2019–2020 academic year was $1,240, according to the College Board. For some majors and college courses, this number may even be greater. Ouch.
There may be a temptation to skip some textbooks. If so, please reconsider. Actually, it’s not a very good approach. A report by the nonprofit organization U.S. PIRG discovered that even while 65% of students decided not to purchase at least one textbook due to the price, 94% of those students said that doing so had a negative impact on their academic performance. Not surprising at all.
8 BEST WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON COLLEGE TEXTBOOKS
Many students are seeking any means to save money due to the high expense of higher education and textbooks. Course materials may increase the cost of your student loans or require you to buy pricey books out of your own cash.
You will undoubtedly benefit from knowing how to save some money on your college textbooks given that the typical student spends over $1,200 on them throughout the academic year. Some of our top recommendations are:
- Buying used books whenever possible
- Buying older editions
- Renting textbooks
- Buying your textbooks as soon as possible
- Sharing your book
- Exploring free options
- Exploring digital options
- Using inclusive access textbooks
Let’s look more closely at some of the best methods for yearly college textbook cost reduction.
1. BUY USED BOOKS WHENEVER POSSIBLE
With secondhand textbooks, you may save a lot of money. Additionally, you may save more money if you’re ready to put up with intensive use, such as the excessive highlighter use of a prior owner.
Search your campus for book exchange organizations. Get to meet students who are a year ahead of you in your studies since they could be ready to sell you their outdated textbooks.
Furthermore, online book markets like Amazon are typically where you may locate secondhand textbooks. Through these sites, many students sell their used textbooks to other students in order to raise funds for their newer textbooks. However, you might need to buy a new textbook if your course requires the usage of any one-time access credentials that come with a new edition.
2. BUY OLDER EDITIONS
Textbook publishers have been known to make minor adjustments to a textbook to create a “new” version for courses like history where the learning material doesn’t vary from year to year. By getting in touch with your professor or other faculty members in advance of the semester and inquiring as to whether an earlier version will work, you may get around that. However, if the publisher made any significant changes to the material, certain schools will need you to purchase a new textbook. They could also change the text’s exercises.
If you must purchase the most recent version, make sure to price-shop around for the greatest deal. Instead of merely going to the university bookstore, compare costs with nearby establishments or internet merchants. You may save money on your textbooks by using this excellent low-cost alternative.
3. RENT TEXTBOOKS
For a little cost, some retailers let you rent a textbook that you return at the end of the semester. This implies that you may purchase a semester-use copy of the textbook without paying the full cost.
Renting your books can significantly reduce your book prices if you won’t need to keep them for your profession in the long run (and, to be honest, the great majority of them you won’t need beyond college). Both physical businesses and internet merchants like Amazon provide the option to rent textbooks.
4. BUY YOUR TEXTBOOKS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
Some retailers let customers rent textbooks for a reasonable charge and return them at the end of the semester. Therefore, you won’t have to pay the entire cost to purchase a copy of the semester’s textbook.
Renting your textbooks can significantly reduce your book prices if you won’t need to retain them for the duration of your career (and, to be honest, the great majority of them you won’t need after college). Both traditional brick-and-mortar bookstores and internet vendors like Amazon provide textbook rentals.
5. SHARE YOUR COLLEGE TEXTBOOK
Book sharing is an excellent option to save money if you have a close friend or roommate who is enrolled in the same course.
A word of warning: Students who are disciplined respond well to this strategy. If you put off reading or studying for an exam until the last minute and your Bookshare partner requires the book, you can be stuck without it.
6. EXPLORE YOUR FREE OPTIONS
Search briefly on Google for PDF versions of your textbooks. Online textbook sales are surprisingly high, especially for older works of literature that are no longer protected by copyright.
Free PDF downloads of classic books and other works are available on Project Gutenberg and other charity websites.
Don’t forget to look into what’s accessible at the library at your institution or university as well.
7. EXPLORE OPTIONS FOR DIGITAL TEXTBOOKS
With the growing popularity of e-readers and tablets, many textbook publishers are offering digital textbooks. You may be able to purchase a digital textbook. The publishing industry can offer e-books and digital copies at a fraction of the price because they are not paying for as many physical copies being made.
8. USE INCLUSIVE ACCESS TO TEXTBOOKS
Programs with inclusive access provide students with a wonderful way to cut costs. In these courses, a college or institution buys textbooks in large quantities from a publisher. Thus, the expense can be incorporated by the institution into course fees and college tuition. This lowers out-of-pocket student expenses and enables all students to arrive at class on the first day with the same resources.
Whether you’re a current college student or a high school student preparing for college, the process can be really overwhelming. You need to know what your overhead costs are as well as what you’re going to have to spend once you get to school.
If you’re looking for a way to make college financing a tad bit easier and lift the burden off by getting a free college textbook, then SolutionInn is your answer.