Get All Of Your Books For School Without Spending An Arm And A Leg
Summer seems to be flying by and, crazy as it seems, back-to-school is rapidly approaching, bringing with it numerous financial burdens. For college students, textbooks are one of the biggest expenses, with the average undergrad spending $900-$1,200 per year on books alone. Textbook prices have been soaring recently, rising as much as 14% over the past year, raising concerns about how students will be able to afford their ever-increasing textbook bill.
There are numerous ways to score discounts on textbooks, and the new Amazon Student program helps undergrads get books delivered quickly for prices far lower than the average campus bookstore. However, professors often do not release book lists until classes begin and frequently require the latest edition, making it more difficult to comparison shop and purchase used books.
New federal legislation hopes to ease the financial burden of textbooks, as part of a broader goal to reduce student debt. The regulations, which took effect on July 1st, require publishers to provide professors with price lists to ensure that professors are aware how much students are expected to pay for textbooks. In additions, colleges are now required to provide students with book lists in advance, allowing them time to shop around for the best prices. Furthermore, publishers are no longer allowed to bundle textbooks with CDs, DVDs, and workbooks, a practice that often forced students to pay for expensive extras that they did not need.
Although experts debate whether the federal regulations will successfully reduce textbook costs, we remain hopeful that they will give students greater opportunity to scout out the best prices and will force professors to become more aware of the costs of the books that they require in their courses.
Thankfully, many textbook retailers are eager to help students save money. Numerous online retailers sell textbooks at a considerable discount, while others allow students to buy and sell used books from each other. Most campus bookstores offer used books and many are beginning to experiment with textbook rentals. Online rental services, such as Chegg.com and CampusBookRentals.com, have been around for several years, but new programs at brick-and-mortar stores are launching this fall and will allow students to rent their books for the semester at about half of retail price, with an option to buy the book at the end of the semester.
Whether you buy your textbooks new or used or choose to rent them, remember to always search for the best deal. Check out some great tips from LearnVest CEO, Alexa von Tobel, to help you keep your textbook costs under control! Also, check out our slide show to find out where else students can score major discounts.