So you’ve picked out a school, bought a brand new microwave and mini-fridge, and you’re all packed up and ready to go to college. But wait! Have you purchased your textbooks for your classes yet? Freedom Debt Relief has found that every year, students spend hundreds of dollars on new textbooks from their school’s bookstore or online center. However, our team of experts has found that this is often the worst way to purchase college textbooks, and many students may be throwing money away by buying this way! This year, go back to school a little smarter with these textbook buying hacks that Freedom Debt Relief has sourced from across the web!
Check out your library’s selection. Before you even think about buying a textbook, make sure that your university’s library doesn’t offer it for free! Freedom Debt Relief has found that many on-campus libraries hold a copy of each required textbook from nearly every professor that teaches at the school in a special reserve section. These reserve sections usually have a time-limit for how long they can be checked out that ranges from two to twenty-four hours- so you won’t have to worry about one of your classmates hogging it all semester! Write down the name of your professors, the authors and names of your textbooks, and the editions as well. Then, head to your library and ask the staff if they carry the book. If they do, bring along a USB drive and scan the required pages onto it- then enjoy your free textbook (and all that saved money!) all semester long.
Get digital. If your library does not offer a hard copy of your required textbooks, Freedom Debt Relief recommends checking the online database to see if there is an electronic copy available. If there isn’t, try searching for the digital copy online where textbooks are sold; these versions contain the same text as the physical copies, but can sell for as little as one tenth of the price of a hardcover version. Even if your professor does not allow you to use a laptop in class, you can still print out the required pages beforehand and bring them along with you!
Wait it out. Freedom Debt Relief recommends waiting until after syllabus week to purchase your textbooks. This has two big advantages that can help you keep cash in your pockets. First, used versions of textbooks have a tendency to go down in price after the first week of classes has wrapped up, and many professors will not reference the material in the books until at least two weeks in because they understand that some students may still be waiting for their materials to arrive from online. Second of all, many professors will announce during the first class that previous versions of the textbook are fine to bring along. Since a new edition of nearly every college textbook is published yearly, previous versions can save you over $200 if your professor allows you to buy the older editions that usually contain the exact same information.
If all else fails, don’t hesitate to contact your professor and ask for their favorite resources to find affordable versions of the materials. Your professors are there to help you out- and he or she may know about a department copy they are able to loan out or a cheap place to rent! This semester, shop smarter for your school materials- and put the extra money towards expenses like housing or loans!