The rising cost of books is one expense that stands out in all college budgets. Technical science and math books are among the highest costing text books and English textbooks are not far behind. For years students and parents have complained as their book budgets are stressed. The science books can start at $150 and higher and other books are costing more than $100. Across the country students at four and two year colleges are feeling the pressure of paying for the cost of living on campus and books.
The cost of books has resulted in innovations in the way that students are paying for books. This year the Chegg.com is breaking into the book market with very favorable ratings from students. They are ushering in the age of book rentals and buying books online. The book rental service allows a student to walk up to an IPAD and search for their book and then make a purchase. Some of the rental books are less than half of the cost of the traditional books. Finding a bargain like this is what the students have been looking for. It seems that professors are not aware of the cost of books when they are identifying them for their classes. There is some new legislation that is designed to get professors to look more closely at their book decisions.
Some professors are creative in how they are allocating books and resources for their classes. They are putting special information on their courses in a web based system that is owned by their university. Students can access old lectures and important documents and review them online. Sharing the information online can make some books less important. Students can read the professors notes wherever they may be.
Another website to consider is book.ly. This website compares the prices of the various textbooks on all of the online book websites. Some of the websites include half.com, ecampus.com, biblio.com and Chegg.com. This website is a great change since students are going from website to website to find the cheapest books. This is important since some professors assign more than one book for their classes. I can foresee a time where some books are only available in an electronic format.
Many of the book stores like Barnes and Noble now run campus book stores. Colleges were looking for ways to cut their expenses and book companies were willing to manage the stores. The book companies have immediate access to the books that they keep in their inventory. The book stores are changing with the times as K12 schools are looking at ways to reduce their expenses. Some states like California are cutting their book expenses. Hey are estimating that they will save millions of dollars by encouraging schools to purchase electronic books that the large book stores are offering.
There is a lot that you can do to save on the cost of books. Take the time to search the internet or better yet rent a book. I recommend that students try to go the first class before purchasing every book. At most book stores you cannot return books that you’ve purchased. You do not want to be stuck with a book that you cannot return. Talk to other students who’ve completed the course last year. There may be a few books that you can borrow. I wish you a successful book savings experience.