College textbooks are one of the biggest rip-offs in American society. You can spend $500 or more on books that may not be that helpful to you. Here are some realities of textbooks.
- In many cases, faculty are required to use a book by the course coordinator. The teacher rarely refers to the book or uses it anyway.
- In some cases, you also have to buy course packets. One item in the course packet is a code number for quizzes, homework, or tests. Thus you can’t take advantage of used books.
- Campus bookstores are generally your most expensive book options. While it’s good to shop around, your financial aid may be setup in a way that you have to use it at the bookstore.
Here’s a strategy for minimizing you book costs.
- Don’t buy books (or if you buy them, don’t place any marks on them) until you are assured they are going to be used.
- Think about sharing a book with another student. This can obviously cut your costs in half.
- Use online book suppliers to shop for the best prices.
- Consider renting a book if a rental option is available. This is especially good for math/science books which are the most expensive.
- Take advantage of used books whenever possible. Many campuses have used book outlets and in some cases sales are done on a student-to-student basis.
- Take good care of your book so you get a better resale price for it at the end of the semester.
- If you absolutely cannot afford a book, talk to you teacher. Your teacher may be able to loan you a book.
- Talk with students who have taken the class you are taking. You can get some good insight as to whether the book is needed.
If you follow the guidance from above, you should be able to reduce your textbook costs in half..