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7 Smart Ways to Save Money on Those Expensive College Textbooks


The cost of attending college alone can be overwhelming for some, not to mention all the added expenses that come with it.

Expenses like college textbooks and meal plans can set some people over the edge and unable to keep up.

According to the College Board, the cost of textbooks on average in 2019 was between $1,240 and $1,440.

If you are worried about the cost of textbooks, keep reading this guide to find ways to purchase discounted and half-priced textbooks.

1. Check The Syllabus

First things first, when looking for textbooks is checking the syllabus and seeing what textbooks you are required to get. Sometimes professors will list books that are optional but not required to get.

If possible, check with your professor as well because in many instances, they will list textbooks as required, and then the first day of classes declare it’s optional.

2. Buy Used

Buying used textbooks can save you a significant amount of money throughout your college years. Buying used will typically save you at least half the price it would cost to buy new.

Most used college textbooks are in great shape and could withstand at least another couple of semesters. You can buy discount textbooks online with retailers like Ebay.com or Abebooks.com.

You can also sell them back for money at the end of the semester. If you are worried your textbook is damaged and won’t be accepted, read through this blog post.

3. Rent

If you have the option to rent your college textbooks, it’s probably a smart idea. Most likely, you will only be using the textbook for the semester anyway, so it isn’t a huge deal having to return it at the end.

Most college campus bookstores will offer an option to rent. You can buy or rent textbooks from places like Amazon.com or Chegg.com.

4. Share With a Classmate

Another option if you are on a budget and are looking for a cheap way to use textbooks still is by sharing with a classmate.

Sharing with a classmate will not only be one of the cheapest options, but it will also give you someone to study with and help learn from.

Just make sure your professor is okay with it first, you don’t want them to think your cheating.

5. Check the Library

In many cases, the textbook you need will be located right in the school library for you to use. Using textbooks from the college library is a great way to save money and will give you a great place to study.

If you go with this route, it is important to consider how often you will need the textbook as other people may rent the textbook as well.

6. Ask Financial Aid

If you are struggling to pay for textbooks, try talking with financial aid.

In some instances, they will allow you to pay for your textbooks by billing them to your account. Of course, it will have to be paid back at a later date but will save you the money when you need it most.

7. Try Open Textbook Network

If you are wondering how to get free college textbooks, consider looking for them on the Open Textbook Network.

The open textbook network helps students learn by providing a host of academic online college books. The resource is free to use and offers complete textbooks.

Other Options For Half-Priced Textbooks

Using the methods throughout the article will help you save money by finding discounted and even half-priced textbooks. Remember to start looking early because it will allow for backup options if your first option doesn’t offer the textbook.

For more informative articles about education, check out the rest of our website!

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