Discover 10 textbook-saving hacks for college students. Learn how to save on textbooks and cut costs during your academic journey. College life comes with it’s not-so-fair share of expenses. Sometimes, you realize that you have to go out of your way to afford certain bills. An example is procuring textbooks. And the tough part is you have to because you wouldn’t want to attempt your courses without textbooks or course materials.
So, how do you go about it? Are there any hacks you need to know? Well, that’s why we’re here. Let’s find out 10 different hacks for saving up on college textbooks. But first, let’s look at the impact college textbooks have on students.
The Impact Of Textbook Costs On College Students
The major impact is felt in the finances of students. Since they have to balance the cost of tuition with the cost of textbooks every year, there’s a strain on their finances for the rest of their time in college. To put it into perspective, the average total spent on college textbooks amounts to over a thousand dollars.
Now add that average to school fees and personal expenses, quite a huge sum we’re looking at. And like we said earlier, you can’t ignore your textbook needs. Over 90% of the students who decided not to buy textbooks have indicated it as a factor that contributed to negative academic results.
Luckily, you can still take shortcuts to beat the impact of college textbooks high costs.
1. Purchase Used Textbooks | Hacks For College Students
In addition to older editions of books, you can also consider purchasing secondhand books. For example, here you’ll find textbooks cheap because the BookScouter.com website compares used college books pricing from multiple online bookstores, including sellers on Amazon and eBay, for each ISBN you submit. So, with the help of a price comparison platform like BookScouter you can easily find used textbooks at the best possible prices, often at a quite lower cost than in your college bookstore. Don’t be deterred by the fact that they have been used before – many of these books are still in excellent condition.
While they have been previously owned, they haven’t been used to the point of losing their structural integrity. Think about your own books that you have taken good care of and used sparingly. With a bit of cleaning and packaging, you could probably sell them as used books.
So, it’s worth giving used textbooks a chance. You can often find them in great condition, and they can be a more affordable option than buying new books.
2. Opt for Older Editions | Best Hacks For College Students
Every year, there’s a new edition of a textbook for you to purchase. However, it’s optional you get the latest one. The new editions are often just revised models with little to no changes. And they cost more, so you’ll be doing yourself a lot of good by sticking to the old editions.
This is not to say the new textbooks are a waste of money; remember, there are still changes, just subtle. However, if you’re tight on cash, it’s a pocket-friendly idea but the older editions of textbooks.
3. Get Your Textbooks Early Enough
One mistake students make is waiting till it’s too late to buy their textbooks. By doing so, they risk missing out on the early purchase period. In other words, they run the risk of buying these textbooks when they’ve gone out of stock.
The sad part is after the first period of circulation, the prices of textbooks always increase, making it even harder to afford them. So be sure to get your textbooks as soon as they’re available.
4. Textbook Rentals | One of the Best Hacks For College Students
Let’s face it, a lot of the textbooks we buy in college never meet our eyes once the session is over. They either end up in the attic or abandoned somewhere we can’t remember. So it makes a lot of sense to rent textbooks when trying to save money.
Several sites provide textbook rental services at affordable rates. All you have to do is fill out certain forms and pay a cheap fee. Be sure to return those books on time to avoid penalties.
5. Borrow Textbooks
Why buy when you can borrow, right? This option only works for some books or all the time, but when they do, it saves you a lot. It’s also one of the perks of socializing, as you can easily ask your friends to lend you their textbooks.
This should be done when necessary i.e., during exams or tests, and be sure to return them as soon as you’re done.
6. Apply For Textbook Scholarships
Like college scholarships help students study without worrying too much about their expenses, textbook scholarships help you procure textbooks at a cheaper rate. Some organizations provide scholarships worth hundreds of dollars that go a long way in helping you study.
The BookScouter website, that I mentioned earlier in this article, also has its own branded textbook scholarship, and I kindly invite you to check it out.
Remember that you must meet certain criteria before qualifying for textbook scholarship, so be sure to check through before applying.
7. Digital Textbook Options
You can find many textbooks in their digital format online for download or purchase. Students can access drive documents or PDFs of textbooks and course materials for study purposes. It’s important to keep an eye out for these digital textbooks as they’re live savers in college.
8. Research On Open Education Resources
Open Education Resources have one goal in mind, and that’s to supplement student studying with zero charges attached. They offer free copies of various textbooks and teaching materials to students. They’ve also been suggested to lecturers to reduce the cost of educational texts.
9. Collect Old Textbooks From Your Senior Colleagues
There will be senior colleagues who have passed through the same course as you. Some might be in the same dorm with you. If you’re the social type, take advantage of this skill to foster networks with your seniors.
By doing so, you’re paving the way to gaining useful knowledge and tips about college from people who have lived through it. At the same time, you get access to college textbooks and hacks for scaling through your courses.
10. Share Textbook Costs With Friends
Another option is to split the cost of textbooks with a friend to make it easier on both sides. That way, you halve the cost and can incorporate more study materials into the budget. Before doing so, you must create a workable schedule that allows you both to have equal and meaningful time with the textbook.
As you can see, there are many hacks for beating the hike in textbook prices. Adopting any of these tips saves you from unwanted financial burdens. At the same time, you make room in your budget for other important school needs. In the end, it becomes easier to focus on your courses when everything else is in place.