Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Textbook resources for college students

College textbook costs continue to go up. Even more frustrating for students is spending hundreds of dollars on textbooks and then not even using them in class. If they are lucky, they can get 40% of the purchase price back by selling it to the bookstore.

There are options out there though. Here are some tips and resources.

1. Buy used whenever possible - it will save you money.
2. Check with the professor on the first day of class to see if you will actually be using the book in the class. Also check with the professor to see if you really need the latest version or not.
3. Share a textbook with a roomate or friend, thereby sharing the cost.
4. Use online, free textbooks and web sites as a resource if you don't need the actual textbook.
5. Check the campus bulletin boards and web sites for students selling their old textbooks - this can be cheaper than buying used books from the bookstore.
6. Check out these free resources for saving money on textbooks:

Chegg (www.chegg.com) This online service allows students to rent books at a huge savings over purchasing the book. There is also the option to buy at the end of the rental. Chegg also plants a tree for every book rented, bought, sold, or donated.

Campus Book Swap (www.campusbookswap.org) Campus Book Swap acts as a bulletin board, helping students buy and sell used textbooks. Students post their book with a description and asking price and other students can purchase the books from them. Books are sorted by school, which makes it easier to find the books a student needs.

Flat World Knowledge (www.flatworldknowledge.com) This is an open source textbook site that allows instructors to select free textbooks that are written by experts and peer reviewed. Educators can add their own materials to the books and mix-and-match chapters. There are various formats to use and there is also a user discussion forum.

Advice.com - great article on college textbook tips.

Share this information with your high school seniors and any college students you know.


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