5 Ways to Save Money on College Textbooks

A huge portion of most student loans come from buying college textbooks. According to the National Association of College Stores, the average college student spends about $600 to $700 on college textbooks per year.

college textbooks

With other expenses to think about, college textbooks may not be at the top of most college students’ budget list. This can put a hamper on their learning experience.  Here are a few ways to save money on college textbooks.

Borrow from the library

Some classes may require you to read classic literature or other popular books. Instead of buying them, why not see if you can borrow them from the library?

Libraries are a really great resource to save on college expenses, especially if you’re enrolled in a few liberal arts classes. Every book you borrow from the library is free, unless they are returned late. In order to avoid any late fees, make sure you set a reminder on your phone so you return your borrowed books on time.

Buy used instead of brand new

The great thing about buying used books is that you get the same benefit out of them at a reduced price. Buying used books is much easier to do online. If you need to buy a book about the works of Saint Augustine for your Theology class, you can check out Amazon or eBay for a pre-loved tome you can buy at a lower price point.

A great tip to buying used books is to search using the ISBN number. Using ISBN numbers allows you to get the exact book and edition your professor recommended you get. Most books being sold online are in a pretty decent condition, so you don’t have to worry about being sold a book that’s unusable.

Opt for a digital version

A lot of college textbooks are now available in digital formats. They’re much cheaper than their paperback or hardcover versions, plus they’re really easy to carry around. And we know how heavy those history books or biographies can be to bring to class.

If you have an Amazon Kindle, another e-reader, or even a smartphone, you can buy or rent your textbooks in digital format to save on your college expenses.

Get the older edition

Did you know that on average, older editions of college textbooks cost 50 percent less than their newer counterpart? Now you do! Newer editions of college textbooks often don’t contain that much of a difference from its predecessor. It’s crazy to think how much changing the paper to a more glossy one or shuffling the text around can cost you.

If ever you do get the older edition of your class’s textbook, you might want to be prepared to turn to a different page than your classmates. Page numbers on newer editions might be a bit different than on older editions.

Rent books

Most electives still require you to get a textbook for recommended reading. If you’re required to get books that you think you may not need after the class ends, you might want to consider renting instead of buying the recommended textbook.

Log on to websites like Textbooks.com to rent books instead of buying them for your class. Just make sure to take proper care of those books you rent in order to avoid getting slapped with additional fees.

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