The price for college can be as costly as a second mortgage. It all depends on where the student is attending, if they have financial help, a college fund or just a good job to get them through.
I was lucky to have the government to help me through college. FAFSA is a fantastic program to help students, and I was happy to have been. Every year I would enter my application and hold my breath for enough to cover my courses, books and other supplies. There was always enough, but only if I did my shopping the right way.
Starting my courses in community college, I saw one book per class. Having five classes meant only five books. That was alright with me, and the costs weren’t too high in the bookstore…
…That was until I transferred to a University.
A University holds a much higher standard of effective learning which I wouldn’t have given up for anything, but they also hold a much higher price tag for students. And let us not forget the number of books needed for classes. The highest peak I had needed was six books for one class in a semester. By the end of that particular semester I remember more than 10 books I needed. It was the most expensive book shopping experience that I was facing.
At that point I should have been worried, but I already had the perfect plan when it came to buying books: buy online.
My first couple of semesters I was such a newbie. I just used the money I had to buy whatever I needed. Never looked for other options. Just walked into the bookstore and bought what I needed. One semester I changed my thoughts.
I had received a syllabus a month beforehand and was interested in seeing the book. There was no picture on the bookstore website, although there was a price. I paid no mind as I went to Amazon to see if I could find the photo of the book cover when I noticed the pricing difference. New books were about the same if not a couple dollars cheaper, but there were used books as well. With prices so low I was surprised, and I’m meaning MORE than half off.
I immediately grabbed my list of books and checked for them all. Each one was available on Amazon for more than half off. That was it. I never again bought a book in the bookstore.
Amazon, and various other websites that I used when I couldn’t find the book on the website, saved me hundreds of dollars. I added up the savings every semester and if each book on average $100, and I needed at least six books that’s over $600 with tax. Now cut that in half. Is $300 not a happy-student’s saving? Now add that up every semester I was in college… nine semesters and I have to change my savings to thousands as I saved at least $2,700.
I never cared about the few bent edges, highlighted sentences, pencil markings and my checking account being fuller and not scraped down to the last penny.
So, where do students look for cheaper books? Anywhere but on a college campus. Good luck to all students and may my story save you money.