5 Ways to Cut Your Textbook Costs

Science Textbook for University Student
Science Textbook for University Student

Tuition isn’t the only higher education expense that makes paying for college challenging – the price of books and supplies can add up quickly. According to the most recent survey data from the College Board,

The average full-time, on-campus undergraduate at a four-year school is estimated to have spent $1,240 on books and supplies during the 2019-2020 academic year. This year, the price of books maybe even higher.

A recent analysis conducted by CampusBooks.com found that the price of textbooks of all kinds – including new, used and digital – are up significantly since the coronavirus pandemic hit this spring,


Here Are 5 Ways to Cut Your Textbook Costs


5. Purchase used books.

Campus bookstores and online booksellers sell used books, which can help students save money. For instance, a used copy of “Fundamentals of Nursing” can cost around $50, making it about 50% less than a new document that retails for about $100. One caveat: Experts recommend that students check whether they have the right edition for their class before making the purchase.


4. Consider older versions of texts.

Publishers often release new editions every few years, but the newest version can cost slightly more than the previous edition. Gurner’s tip: “Although the newest textbook is usually the one recommended for the course,

Updates to college textbooks are not always major revisions. Most professors know if the newer textbook content varies dramatically from the previous version they’ve used, which can significantly save students.


3.Rent digital textbooks

Online retailers such as Amazon’s Textbooks Store, Chegg.com and Google Play offer textbook rentals. For example, a student can rent the ninth edition of “Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics” through Google Play for about $39

A fraction of the cost of purchasing the book in its traditional format. Rental periods and terms vary among vendors.


2. Subscribe to membership services

Some textbook discounts are available through subscription-based services. Cengage, a well-known publisher, offers a subscription that costs from $70 to $120 for four months of unlimited access to more than 22,000 digital course materials,

Which includes textbooks. Popular textbooks that Cengage publishes include “Principles of Microeconomics” and “Biological Psychology.”


1. Sell your books through buyback offers

There are usually options to resell recent editions of traditional textbooks online through companies like Amazon. Sometimes campus bookstores, like the one at East Carolina University,

will allow students to sell used books online through the bookstore’s website. There are also other options to sell used books online with sites such as DirectTextbook.com and TextbookRush.com.