6 ways to save on college textbooks

Financial Tip Friday | 07/09/21
FTF College Textbook Savings Blog

Purchasing textbooks that you need for class takes a big bite out of your budget. According to the National Association of College Stores, the average college student spends upward of $80 on each new textbook and can sometimes drop more than $200 on one class.

Here are six ways you might be able to save on textbooks and help keep the budget on track:

1. Skip the college bookstore

If you’re looking for an overpriced place to pick up your textbooks, be sure to hit the on-campus bookstore. Otherwise, stay as far away as possible. You’ll be paying through the nose just for the convenience of getting your books on campus.

2. Shop for used books online

Anything new will always cost more, and unless you’re shopping for a math book with specific page numbers and examples, in many cases you can get away with an older, used edition of the textbook you need for class. Just check with your professor to see if the latest edition is necessary.

Shop online for the best prices on the books you need, using popular platforms like Amazon, eBay, book.ly and Chegg to get the hottest deal.

3. Rent

If you only need to use a textbook for a short amount of time, or you know you’re going to toss it after the course is over, investigate renting instead of buying the book. You can save up to 90 percent off the cost of a new textbook this way, and 50 percent off what you’d pay if you’d purchase it used. Check out sites like Textbooks.com and CampusBooks.com to get started or head over to Amazon, which also offers rentals.

4. Go digital

If you have tablet, you can save a tidy sum by choosing to download your textbooks in an electronic format. You’ll find e-books available for many works of fiction, historical texts or essays you might need for class. Just make sure the e-book you choose is easy to navigate or you might wind up regretting the purchase.

5. Hit the library

Before spending a penny on textbooks, check out the school library to see what they have in stock. You might be pleasantly surprised at the broad selection of books available for students, especially works of fiction and non-fiction for liberal arts classes.

Don’t blow your budget on textbooks! Use our tips to save a bundle on the books you need for college whether you’re a Commodore in Nashville, a Blue Raider in Murfreesboro, or a Volunteer in Knoxville.

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