College is one of the most expensive endeavors in a person’s life, and while getting an education will pay off one day, purchasing textbooks at full price might not be an option for all students.
Between tuition, transportation, food and often living expenses, paying hundreds of dollars per semester for books is just another drain on a student’s bank account.
Paying the big bucks for overpriced books that will only be used for a few short months hardly seems like the best option.
Luckily there are a variety of options to get the materials needed for a course. Buying or renting textbooks online is an extremely cost effective way to get books. Several web sites like Amazon and Chegg offer most books at a more reasonable price.
These sites also offer students the chance to sell or donate books at the end of the semester for other students to reuse. It also gives an option to just give the book back so there isn’t a shelf of useless books collecting dust somewhere in the house.
Maria Harrington, a 42-year-old occupational therapy major shared advice for buying textbooks. “It’s easier to buy them here [in the campus bookstore], but they’re outrageous on price… Go online first,” she said.
If books are ordered online, be sure to make enough time for the books to be shipped before school starts.
Purchasing eBooks online is another way to spend less on textbooks if reading on a computer or tablet is is preferable.
“I’m gonna be shopping around looking for eBooks so I don’t have to pay like 80 bucks for one textbook,” said Cameron Williams, 29, a nursing major.
Another great option is finding a local used textbook store and buying from them.
One of Cosumnes River College’s biggest gems is the student run Facebook group, “CRC Textbook Exchange” which any student can request to join.
Hosting over two thousand members, it is an awesome way to find textbooks and support fellow students.
“My best friend Sarah Ha came up with the idea in 2012 and I supported her decision to create the page,” said Chris Tran, 21, a film and digital media major who works for the page, in an email interview.“The mission of the group is to provide students with an alternative method of selling and purchasing books that is more convenient and less costly.”
With the Facebook group there is the option to sell the book to another student at the end of the semester and make your money back. Generally students list the books they have for sale or that they are searching for on the page and connect with other students that want to purchase or sell books that match their own needs.
After a connection is made students are able to speak to one another through Facebook to decide how they want to deal with the exchange. Most times this means meeting another student on campus to do so.
If the college bookstore is the only place that has a textbook, look for a used rental option, they are generally the cheapest.
Lastly, for the extremely cash strapped student there is always the campus and neighboring Valley Hi- North Laguna libraries that have most books available for checkout.