Ohh, how we love buying textbooks. Those enormous and glorifying books that usually cost an arm or two. Have you noticed that some of the little textbooks cost as much as the bigger ones? I once rented a 30 page case study book for $20, on sale it was $120… seriously?!?!?
Working at a financial aid office, I receive an immense amount of calls and complaints from students every year, worrying they might be dropped from their classes for not affording to buy the books. I tell them, “I hear ya!” Textbooks are not cheap. One book (math, poli sci, science, etc) can cost up to $250! From my many, many years as a student (even in graduate school) and working with my students, I have found the tricks to obtaining those costly books without having to wait for your grants or loans to come through. You must be open, patient and understand that I have saved $$$ from the following.
1. Perhaps not purchasing from your school’s campus. Have you looked at Amazon, ebay, or Half.com?? True, your school’s text might be brand new, but there is nothing wrong in buying a used book. About 85% of my books have been used and the ones I actually paid for I sold them back. Make sure to read the reviews and compare prices ahead of them.
2. Renting!!!!!! Ding, ding, ding!!!! If you’re the type of student who believes, “noooo, I want to keep all my books. I just might … need them…” Uhhmm… So if you’re a poli sci major, I highly doubt keeping those dance, theatre, math, soc, and welding books will be used later on. I had a friend who always complained on a certain social media website (FB) about the costs of his textbooks. I politely told him he should borrow or rent! The moron yells at me, “I LIKE TO KEEP THEM!!!” Good, it’s your money and maybe one day you can open your “library” to the public. I love renting, even the books I think I might need. To be honest, books keep changing every year, more and updated information. It would be pointless to have an outdated book. Unless you absolutely love math, you can keep those. No idea why you would… I am just curious how that one friend of mine is doing… with his collection textbooks… Renting is sooo much cheaper. Like I affirmed earlier, I rent books for 75-80% of the cost. Most sites send you a folder or box so once you are done, you just take it to your post office and drop it off- no extra postage to purchase!!
3. Have you gone to the library? Okay, so I might be technologically impaired and prefer to go to the library instead of using Google to fill up my bibliography, but I loooove the library! So quiet, calm and I have no doubt all the books are there. Sometimes I make photo copies (well, not, take a quick pic with my phone) and have my info with me. I take good notes and sometimes don’t need my books at all. I sometimes go for a couple hours, get my studying done and leave. Wa-lah!!!
4. My last advice- just be patient. If you are one of those “impatient” individuals calling every five seconds to the financial aid office, you should probably be aware that you are one of thousands x thousands x thousands of students awaiting for financial support. Be resourceful and do not blame the fin aid for anything.