5 Creative Ways to Save on Textbooks

by A M 2 years ago in college

Instead of just "rent" or "buy used".

5 Creative Ways to Save on Textbooks

College is ridiculously expensive, ask anyone and they will be able to tell you that. The cost of just attending classes can leave you in a lifetime of debt. What a lot of people don’t consider is the extra costs of textbooks for these classes, which can reach thousands of dollars per year. With this article you hopefully will be able to keep your textbook costs low.

1. Don’t Buy the Textbooks Before Classes Start

Some professors never even use their textbook in class. I’m sure you’ve encountered a class where the textbook is only used for a few pages. So, go to class for the first few weeks. Ask the professor directly if the book is required, or just wait and get a feel for the class. Some websites such as Rate My Professor will even clue you in beforehand if a professor chooses to use their textbook or not.

2. Pair up With Someone in the Class

If you find out you do need the textbook, but maybe only here and there, try to find a classmate you can split the cost with. Even better, find a classmate that prematurely bought the book and is willing to let you take pictures of it when assignments are handed out. This works best for classes that don’t often use the textbook, or if a friend is taking the same class but at a different time.

3. Buy the Older Edition

When checking out the required materials for a class they will always list the latest edition of the textbook. In reality, not much changes between editions content-wise. You’re most likely going to be able to get a much better price for almost the same material besides a few pictures and graphs. If you’re worried about it, ask the professor beforehand. Most will know that only a few things have differed and will let you buy an older edition.

4. Buy the International Edition

If they say the older edition won’t work, or maybe you just want to get the cost as low as possible, looking for an international edition works wonders. It is the same exact content, just with a different cover usually. These can be a bit harder to find, but if you do it can save you big time. Comparing just one book, I have found at least an 80% discount between the American copy at $230 and the international at only $47. This is comparing new and latest edition books.

5. Try to Find a Digital Copy, Free Online

This can be hard to do, but there are a few websites you can find that offer free copies of textbooks. Finding a trustworthy site can be hard, but if you look up reviews for the sites you find you should be able to find a few. However, this method out of all of them can lead to the least results. Most of these websites I have found don’t have many useful books. If you do try this method just remember to be cautious.

Getting through college is hard, don’t let the cost of textbooks weigh you down even further. Using these tips can save you hundreds of dollars per semester, thousands of dollars per year. Be smart about the way you get your education.

How does it work?
Read next: The Unconventional College Life

College student trying their best to not be broke. 

See all posts by A M