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College Textbooks Savings

It’s been 15 years, but I can still recall the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I discovered that our son Jason’s textbooks for his first quarter at college were going to cost a whopping $900! We had three children enrolled in college that year. We hadn’t planned for this.

Today, saving on college textbooks is a hot topic, so I did some research and found some great ideas as well as some good websites. 
  • Borrow: This is one time when belonging to a sorority or fraternity works to your advantage. Jason borrowed some books from upper classmen who used them the preceding year. Borrow from a good student and the book will already be highlighted appropriately—making getting good grades easier for the borrower!
    Savings: as much as 100%.
  • Rent: It’s big business now. Some operate like the new wave of video rentals where you order and then return them in prepaid envelopes when you’re finished. Try or
    Savings: As much as 80% of the cost of new.
  • Buy Used: While the campus bookstore may seem like the logical place to go, there may be more savings online. Try:,, or
    Savings: At least 25%.
  • Digital: It works for some courses. Try these two or
    Savings: As much as 50%.
  • Publisher: Go to the publisher’s website and see if they offer a cheaper “study” edition or one in another format.
    Savings: As much as 50%. 
Each of these websites was listed in at least one article and two blogs as being good sources. Enjoy the bargain hunt!

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