Most professors have specific requirements when it comes to their course textbook lists. They want specific editions, physical copies or they want you to buy the most expensive book because they love it. Engineering, math, and sciences textbooks can cost hundreds of dollars to rent! No matter what you are studying, the textbook bill will add up quickly.
Here are some ways to save money and get affordable textbooks!
1. Rent Instead Of Buying
While this is easier said than done, renting your textbooks instead of buying them is a simple way to save some serious cash! Most of us have no interest in keeping our textbooks longer than we have to, so why invest money in books that the college bookstores probably will not buy back anyway? Renting is a better option for your wallet, and for your limited space on campus!
2. Rent Used Textbooks
When you are scouring your bookstore’s shelves or the internet, make sure you are choosing used textbooks instead of new ones! Chances are that they were barely used by the previous owner. Worst case, you can flip through all the books on the shelves until you find one with as few or as many notes as you want! Some people take good care of their textbooks, so some used books are just like new!
3. Buy Used Textbooks
If you really want to keep those books from your classes, consider buying used ones! They are usually less expensive than new ones and can be in the exact, or similar quality. Plus, if they already have notes inside from the person before you, that’s even better! Having access to someone else’s notes or interpretations of the texts can strengthen or challenge your own thoughts to have a more detailed understanding. Visit local stores or use online resources to find affordable, used textbooks! Make sure to check and see what type of quality those books are in before purchasing them.
4. Go To Local Bookstores
Take a trip off-campus and hit up the local bookstores around your college town! They are usually stocked with books you will need for class and are much more affordable than your bookstore’s prices. If your professor is okay with you using any edition of the text you need, this is a great opportunity to save some money and support small businesses! Local bookstores often have amazing study spaces designed for college students, so not only will you find amazing deals, you can find a secret study spot when campus gets too noisy.
5. Check College Social Media Groups
If your college has social media pages for the members in your graduating class, use this to your advantage! A majority of students have to take the same core classes so they utilize these groups to pass their books around. Use this to talk to classmates you might not have encountered otherwise to see if they would lend you their books or just let you buy them! When you are done with them for the semester, you can put them up in the group so someone else can use them.
6. Talk To Upperclassmen
Upperclassmen know all the tips and tricks to save you the most money! Not only do they know which professors require the specific edition of the textbook you need, but they can also tell you which ones are fine with whatever version you bring to class, even virtual ones. Not only can upperclassmen give you tips and tricks on how to save the most money, but they might also have some books you can take off their hands!
One way to save money on book rentals is to rent them from somewhere else than your book store! Not only does Chegg offer affordable purchase and rental options, but they also offer study materials. Plus, their boxes usually come in fun, colorful packaging with some free gifts inside! Make sure you check their rules for used books to ensure you will not have to buy any because you wrote in them.
Even if your on-campus bookstore is Barnes & Noble, you can often find better deals by going to “the” Barnes & Noble website! Check out their rental and purchase options until you find one that works for you, your preferences, and your semester courses. Just make sure you keep track of where you are renting all of your books from to ensure they all go to the right place when the semester ends!
9. Use Online Textbooks
If your professors are fine with their students using e-books, or other similar options, utilize this opportunity to save some serious cash. More often than not, you can find PDFs, free versions, or more affordable online than if you choose to purchase or rent a physical book. You can even rent online textbooks! Keep track of your login information to ensure you will have access to your books all semester long. You can always email your professors as soon as they release their book list to see if they allow electronic textbook use in class! Unfortunately, not all professors are as lenient as others, so it is best to respect their wishes to ensure your success in their class.
10. Borrow Your Books Instead
Ask around within your friend group, social media groups, and around campus to see if anyone has textbooks they would be willing to let you borrow! Depending on how long you have already been in college, sometimes professors have extra copies in their office or are willing to make copies if you are unable to afford the textbook. This is not always the case, but do be open and honest with your professors about your financial situation to ensure you start the semester off on the right foot! Make sure you thank them profusely if they lend you personal copies and take good care of them.
Which of these savings tips will you be trying first? Comment your favorite below!
Hi! My name is Hannah Warren and I just graduated from Mercer University with a B.A. in English. During my time at Mercer, I studied both Creative Writing and Media Studies so I have dabbled in multiple writing genres including fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, and more! Playwrighting and nonfiction are my favorite genres because more people relate to and understand the work when it is raw, genuine, and mentions different problems that most people are familiar with or have experienced first-hand. I have a bad habit of starting projects and not finishing them, but I am proud to say I am drafting a romance novel that I hope to have published one day! Thank you for taking the time to get to know me, and I hope you will continue to read more of my little articles in the future!