By Kyle Olson
Let’s face it; college is expensive, very expensive.
Between tuition, room and board, textbooks, supplies, food, and everything else, college is one big expense.
Anywhere you can save some money, it’s worth it; every penny.
Textbooks are a big part of college and often cost thousands of dollars over the duration of the student’s collegiate career.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the average college student spent $1,213 on textbooks alone in the 2011-2012 school year. That number is up 3% from the previous year.
Many students struggle to pay for books and often use credit cards that could get them into severe credit card debt if they’re not careful.
Experts say that books will increasingly become more expensive as pricey add-ons, like online tutorials, are included in class syllabuses and considered must-have items within the college classrooms.
These figures may seem bleak but experts say that students don’t have to waste their party money on books anymore; it’ll just take some smarts and know-how.
Rental books and e-books are becoming more popular for their cost effectiveness. However, if a book is lost or damaged the student has to pay a fee that would almost equal (and sometimes surpass) the original cost of a new book, so keep that in mind.
Another option that students have no control over, unfortunately, is professors are using “open source” textbooks that are free. Even if professors use rented textbooks from previous years, savings of up to 75% could be in order, according to experts.
However, not every book is available as an e-book or a rental book. For those cases The Wall Street Journal has laid out four options to consider when buying books for your upcoming classes.
Many textbook retailers offer bundle options for popular textbooks. Bundles often include homework packs and other necessary items that would cost more if sold separately. By bundling the books, you could save lots of money in the long run, say the experts, giving you more money for social events and hanging out with your newly acquainted friends.
Saving money has always been on the mind of savvy internet users. Coupon codes are often implemented for retail sites that offer books and you can potentially save big bucks when it comes down to it. Even college bookstores have “hidden” perks like coupon codes and free gifts when you purchase books through them. Experts say it’s important to check out all options in order to make sure you leave no rocks unturned in the eternal quest to save money for the weekend.
Rental Agreements Could Backfire
It always pays to read the fine print. Many rental agreements assess fines and fees for books that are highlighted, damaged, or lost. Make sure you take care of your rental and return it on time in order for the rental to be worth the savings associated with it.
Compare All Formats
According to Amazon, users could save up to 60% on e-books if purchased rather than the new textbooks that are often offered. They also state that 90% savings could be passed to the customer if they buy a used text print so do your homework before you have to do actual homework.