One of the most expensive areas of attending college seems to be the cost of the text books these days. Since most colleges only use a particular book for a year or two it is very hard to purchase them in advance. Yet there are some good ways you can catch a break when it comes to paying for the text books you need. Almost all colleges have bulletin boards so you can place an ad for the various books you need. Hopefully individuals who have just finished the course will gladly part with the book for much less than they paid for it.
If you have text books from courses you have finished you may be able to trade what you need for what someone else needs. If you are in a particular type of program such as business or education you will likely find other students who need to take the same classes as you. Setting up a text book swap is a great way to maximize the amount of money that you do spend on text books.
It can be very frustrating to get the newest edition of a particular text book and then find out it hasn’t changed very much at all from the previous edition. Take to your instructor as they will likely have gone through the new edition and make comparisons to the old one. Most instructors are fine with you using an older edition of the same book. You can save a substantial amount of money if you are able to do so.
Another frustration can be to find out after your purchase such a text book that you won’t need it very much as the instructor mainly teaches from notes. If this is the case consider purchasing a book with a classmate and splitting the cost. This won’t work well if you will have a great deal of text book reading or assignments to complete though.
Check to see if the college library offers copies of text books rather than purchasing them. Most libraries that offer this option don’t allow the text books to be checked out but you can use them in the library as you need to. If you choose this option make sure you start on assignments as quickly as possible so that you don’t have to stress about someone else already using the book.
Some book stores offer to place used text books on consignment for students. These are often placed in the bookstore with the new books on the shelves. While they may have some wear and tear as well as highlighting they will serve the purpose of a one semester course. These consigned books generally sell fast so make sure you go to the bookstore at the very end of the semester. As students complete their finals they will take their books into the bookstore.
On the back of each textbook is an ISBN number. It is generally found above or underneath the bar code on the book. You can use this number to search for the text book on the internet. There are several places where you can purchase new and used textbooks at a price that is much less than what you will pay for it at the college campus bookstore.