When you first price college textbooks, you instantly understand why you don’t want a student taking their courses too lightly. College textbooks are extremely expensive, but they are what they are. You may want to spend some time checking out alternatives to buying new textbooks.
It’s difficult to put an estimated cost on textbooks per semester or year because there are many variables based on what courses of study a student takes. A student majoring in English will need many course books as well as others for research, and none of them are cheap. An engineering student can expect to have fewer books, but the ones used are very expensive.
Upon enrollment, students are given a list of the textbooks required for the semester. That is the time to immediately begin a quest to find books for the best prices possible. Pricing for new books is available from the college bookstore, but you want better pricing than that if at all possible.
Here are some suggestions on how to get the best bang for your buck with college textbooks:
1. Buy your books early. As soon as your child is enrolled, begin to look for all the options and the availability of materials.
2. Check with students who have just completed courses your child will be taking and barter for second hand books. You should comparison shop between former students to get the best resale price.
3. Buy based on individual book prices. Don’t get into a situation where you buy all of the books from one person unless you can negotiate a price that has the lowest cost for all.
4. Check to see which textbooks you can rent. Not all course materials will have rental possibilities, but many do.
5. Encourage your child to find students who want to sell their books when they have completed courses your student plans to take.
6. Look for course materials in places other than the college bookstore.
7. Check online for textbooks, where former students may sell theirs. Additionally, some books are available online for download. Downloadable textbooks still have a cost, but it is much lower than that of the hard printed copies.
Be positive that you have the right books when you buy. Don’t assume that the materials for a class remain the same for every semester. You don’t get a bargain by buying outdated and relatively useless books, no matter what the price.