Guide to College Textbooks
Jul 27 2017 0

Freshman’s Guide to College Textbooks

Getting ready for your first semester is college is filled with excitement and anticipation. Many are counting down the days for when they can ‘officially’ call themselves college students. Perhaps you have already started buying your school supplies. If you have already signed up for classes, you may even know what textbooks are listed for your class. Textbooks are another expensive cost to a college education. That is why you should be aware of these 5 things.


  1. Textbooks can be  EXPENSIVE

Textbooks can range from $5 to $500 easily. There is no average cost for textbooks, because it often depends on the major. For instance, many science books cost hundreds of dollars, so a science major will spend more than a art major, which usually has cheaper books or does not require any. It is important to note that just because you spend $300 on a textbook does not mean that it is bound. Some books are loose-leaf, which means they are unbound and require a binder to put all the loose pages into.


  1. Don’t buy your books before class starts

Many blogs and articles might tell you to buy your textbooks early, but that could be costly. Professors have little to no control on what books are listed as required on the class catalog. So, you may have bought that $100 book and it will not be used. Buy your textbook right after your first day of class, when you get the syllabus. If your course requires multiple textbooks, wait to buy the other books until about a week or two before you need them. Sometimes professors have to redo the class calendar due to circumstances, which could result in one of the books previously listed as required not being used.


  1. Look for off-campus bookstores

Some textbooks may sell out fast in your campus bookstore, especially if it is a core class that all majors have to take. Usually there are one or more off-campus bookstores, usually somewhere near campus, that sell college textbooks.


  1. Rent or Buy Used

As mentioned before, college textbooks can be expensive. One way to help keep costs down to to buy used textbooks or rent them for a semester. Renting is always a good option and there are several places to rent textbooks: Chegg, Amazon, off-campus bookstores, etc. Just keep in mind when the books have to be returned (usually the last day of finals). However, if you are going to need the book for future reference or it is a good book to keep around for your major, you can buy it used at a cheaper cost. Because they are used the condition they are in often varies between gently used to completely marked up and usually the condition does not affect the price.


  1. Borrow

This is the cheapest of all the textbook options. Connect with someone in class or find someone who has taken the class before and see if you can borrow their textbook. You can even ask someone taking the class and offer to share and split the cost of the textbook.


With the cost of college and textbooks being so high, it is becoming important to try and reduce costs as much as possible. By utilizing or being aware of these 5 textbook tips, you can help lower the amount of money you spend on college textbooks. Just think, for every dollar you save the less you will have to pay back in loans and interest.


Have any other tips for saving money on college textbooks? We would love to hear them! Share your tips on our social community UEMSConnect and help other students learn from your experiences.


By Ashleigh Cue

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