How To Get Your Textbooks For Cheap

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How To Get Your Textbooks For Cheap

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Of all the expenses associated with going to college, buying textbooks is probably the one that’s hardest to estimate in advance because sky-high prices for books can add up quickly. However, if students are willing to spend a little time, it can be simple to find the necessary books for cheaper prices.

One tip is to not buy textbooks in advance and go to class for a few days first. Some professors will list their textbooks as ‘required,’ but use them only as a study resource rather than actual material for the course. Depending on the class, students can decide whether or not that book is a resource they’ll use. Additionally, students may occasionally encounter a situation in which, during the first few days of the semester, a professor changes the textbook or edition of the textbook used for the course. For classes in which the homework depends on the text, this can be incredibly expensive for students who purchased the original book before the semester started.

In classes where the text is required, students should check with professors to see if they can use older editions.

Aubrey Grant, a Chemical Engineering student at the U, says the bookstore on campus “is usually the most expensive option” for her. It’s close and convenient —they stock every book for every course — but that convenience can sometimes come at a higher price. If students need a book on short notice, the bookstore is probably the best option. Even when shopping for a deal, the bookstore’s website is still a good place to begin. It’s the quickest way to search for supply lists for several classes at the same time and sometimes the site will list prices from other vendors, providing a starting place for students to shop around.

Probably the most comprehensive way to search for deals on textbooks is by entering the book’s ISBN — a unique number assigned to any internationally published book — into a search engine. Sites frequently used by students at the U include eBay, KSL and Amazon Prime. There are options for buying physical books either new or used, buying ebooks, or renting either physical texts or ebooks. Grant says she usually buys physical copies from eBay or Amazon and saves a lot of money. She’s also rented books from companies like Chegg “and that has always been really convenient.” Chaz Evans, a student in Film & Media Arts, usually finds the best deals on Amazon. The only downside he can see to the site is that “sometimes you have to buy” the physical book, but to Evans, that downside is outweighed by the savings. If he doesn’t want to keep the book, he “can easily put it on KSL after the semester.”

There are many options when it comes to buying textbooks. If students take the time to find what options work best for them, getting deals on books can be an easy way to save money while at the U.

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@EliseAbril