Finding College Textbooks for Less


Fall tuition bills will be arriving shortly, but families soon find that it's the "extra costs" that can add up quickly over the coming months. For students entering college this fall, and for high school students taking college level courses, textbook costs can stretch into the thousands. Here are a few sources to consider to keep those costs to a minimum:
  •  Wait until your first class and ask the professor if you can use a previous edition of the textbook, as older editions are typically less expensive. You may also want to ask if the textbook is necessary or if it is available digitally, which is often much cheaper.
  •  Use social media to see if you can buy or borrow the book from a student who has already taken the course. Many colleges have Facebook and other social media channels for current students to communicate.
  • College libraries (your own and others) often have textbooks available for students to borrow.
  • Most college bookstores sell used books. Check early and often to see if they offer the book(s) you need because used books sell quickly.
  • Look for new or used college textbooks online on sites like Half.com or Amazon
  • Enter the ISBN (the 10 or 13 digit number that identifies a specific edition of a specific textbook) or the title for the book you need into Slugbooks.com. You'll  get a comparison of the cheapest prices available.
  • Consider renting your textbooks. Campus Book Rentals and Chegg offer good programs.
  • You can download certain popular textbooks for free from websites like Freeload Press
  If you don’t need your textbooks after you’re done with them, sell them back to the campus bookstore or to sites like Amazon or Half.com. Now you've started a little nest egg for next semester's textbooks...