If you are an international student studying in the U.S. for the first time, you are not the only one who is surprised by the expensive list of textbooks. According to The American Enterprise Institute’s recent finding, there has been an 812 percent rise in the cost of course materials since 1978, as captured in the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s consumer price index data.
According to the National Association of College Stores, the average college student pays about $655 for textbooks and supplies annually, which is nearly $3,000 for four years of study. SO, what can you do to save more? Here are some good resources that can help students save a ton of money and still get the materials they need!
Believe it or not, most of the school libraries have the latest textbooks required by professors. Most students can go to the library and rent the textbooks out to scan or read. This not only saves students a ton of money, but it is also the easiest way to obtain new textbooks that may be hard to get elsewhere. However, the only thing to be aware of is that students must act quick, because the number of new textbooks are very limited, and there are always more students who need them than the number of books available.
Bulletin board postings
Aside from the library, the school’s bulletin board is a great place to find textbooks for sale. This is a lot better than looking for books from the school’s bookstore, since most of the books being posted on the bulletin board are from the past semester and students usually sell them at a much lower price. The only downside is that those books are very limited, and you have to constantly look for them before another student buys them.
If you want to save some money and be environmentally friendly, electronic books (E-books) are a great alternative to buying actual textbooks. E-books are becoming one of the most popular forms of reading, since people can read it directly from their iPad, phone or an e-book reader. At the same time, most e-books are a lot cheaper than the actual textbooks, since they do not require ink and paper and can be carried around without causing a pain in your shoulder.
Unless all other options are ruled out and you must purchase a book for a class, there are actually several very useful websites that sell secondhand textbooks at a much lower rate. Some websites include Amazon.com, BookCloseouts.com, or Ebay.com. For an extensive list for discounted books, please check out this website, http://studenthacks.org/2008/01/23/used-cheap-textbooks/.