Buying textbooks can be a huge drain on your wallet. Add that to the cost of college, extracurriculars and living on your own for the first time, and suddenly that dollar sign can be extremely daunting.
Over the past ten years, the average cost of college textbooks has risen four times faster than inflation, according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. In fact, the average college student will spend over $1,200 on college textbooks per year. It’s more important than ever to do your research before buying the textbooks you need.
How can you be prepared for school without breaking the bank? Check out these 5 budget-friendly options for getting the textbooks you need.
- Rent Your Textbooks
Who says you need to own your own textbook? Nowadays, some budget-conscious bookstores allow students to rent. That way, you can rent a textbook for the exact length of time it’s needed without paying for something you’ll likely never read again. Once the semester is over, the books go straight back to the store. This makes renting textbooks a convenient option if know you won’t need the book in the future and don’t have room to store all your books in your dorm room. Some stores will even let you rent digital editions, which can take a load off both your wallet and your back.
- Buy Used Print Editions
Digital versions of textbooks can actually be more expensive than their print editions. Instead, consider buying a used print version from the student bookstore near you. Older editions, are often much cheaper than the current version, and often contain much of the same information. Consider discussing with your professor beforehand whether they assigned a specific edition for a reason, or if you can buy an older edition instead.
There may also be a great free option near you. You may be able to borrow your textbook in an institution as old as time itself – a library. Check your local or university library to determine the maximum length of time you can keep the textbook. Often, the time period will be as long as your semester or quarter, and it is absolutely free. Even if you have to pay a few weeks of penalties, that will likely pale in comparison to the cost of the book.
- Share With Friends
It’s a bit more complex than some of the other options, but if you can find a study buddy whom you trust – or perhaps you and a roommate are taking the same class – buying one book to share allows you to split the cost. Who wouldn’t say no to spending half as much? However, find out beforehand if you’ll be using the textbook in class – if your instructor says yes, this likely isn’t the best option for you as you’ll need your own copy.
- Buy Textbooks Using Your Financial Aid
Some bookstores, like Student Bookstore in Corpus Christi, will allow you to use your financial aid to purchase or rent books with a preferred payment plan over the course of the semester. The requirements for purchasing books with financial aid include a financial aid agreement, a financial aid awards statement, a valid driver’s license, a Del Mar College Higher One Card, and a bank debit card or major credit card. By presenting these, students can get their textbooks on the same day without waiting for their financial aid disbursement to kick in. That means they can avoid the mad dash of people trying to purchase the same textbook.
Student Bookstore is a fast, friendly, convenient option for students on a budget to get the books they need without sacrificing quality or their budget. Their great customer service can’t be beat! Check them out at Bkstr.com/delmarstore.
Corpus Christi, TX 78404
Monday: 8:00am – 6:00pm
Tuesday: 8:00am – 6:00 pm Wednesday: 9:00am – 5:00pm Thursday: 9:00am – 6:00 pm Friday: 9:00am – 1:00pm Saturday: Closed Sunday: Closed
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