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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Monday started yet another semester of college for me and while I am excited to be that much closer to graduation I am not at all happy about how stressful this semester will be or how much it will cost.college textbooks

I've been a college student for a while now and though I know that each new semester will bring a tuition bill that makes me ill, it never ceases to amaze me how much it all costs.  Never mind the insane tuition, or the fact that my university offers the Communications degree I am working toward completely online (which is amazing, but also a pain in the ass) what really upsets me is that my classes cost almost two times more per credit hour than the same classes taught on campus...it's crazy.

What's even more insane than the tuition bill is the price of our text books...complete insanity!  Last semester my books for four classes were nearly $400 (all new) and that was cheap.  This semester the books for my 4 classes are almost  $600 at the campus bookstore so I decided to do some comparison shopping and found some great places to find cheap college text books and wanted to share them with all of you! 

Instead of just telling you how much money you can save I decided to also show you.  First you’ll see my book list and the prices from my campus bookstore and then I’ve included a list of 3 great places to check out if you’re looking for textbooks this semester (or maybe know someone who is) and how much money can be saved at each.

My Book List
Organizational Communication:  Approaches and Processes
Intercultural Communication in Contexts
Introducing Communication Theory
Persuasion:  Social Influence & Compliance Gaining

Campus Bookstores:
Total for all 4 books:  $457.45 (prices reflect all 4 books in new condition with shipping NOT included)

Amazon.com

I had never ordered text books from Amazon until this semester and when I saw the price of my books I decided to give them a try.  Amazon had ALL of the books I needed for my classes this semester, all of them where in-stock and ALL of them were cheaper (both new and used) than my campus bookstore!

Total of 4 books on Amazon:  $344.65 (price reflects all 4 books in new conditions including standard shipping)
Savings of over $112 compared to my campus bookstore

BarnesandNobel.com

I like Barnes&Nobel for much the same reason I like Amazon; they have a great selection (all of my text books were in-stock (new and used) and I really love that you can rent textbooks from BarnesandNoble.com, something I did not realize until I went in search of cheaper textbooks this semester.  I also like that Barnes & Nobel (at least the online version, I’m not sure about in store) also offers NookStudy eTextbooks from Barnes & Noble are read with the NOOKstudy eReader for your PC and Mac. Like Amazon shipping can be costly unless all textbooks ship from the same retailer…something to keep in mind.

Total of 4 books on B&N.com:  $333.30 (price reflects all 4 books in new conditions including standard shipping)
Savings of over $124 compared to my campus bookstore

BookRentalSource.com

I just learned about this place earlier today (thanks Tiff)and it’s the best priced rental option that I’ve seen so far.  Book Rental Source offer students the option of renting their textbooks (and trust me when I say this saves a TON of money).  What’s unique about Book Rental Source though is that they offer varying rental periods depending upon your needs (from 30 days up to 145 days) they also sell used books.  BookRentalSource.com has a huge selection of over 5 million textbooks and you can write and highlight in all of them…which is a huge plus for college students! 

While I cannot compare the prices of new books at Book Rental Source (since they do not sell them new) I can tell you how much a 125 day (entire semester) rental costs…and even I was surprised by how little it was!

Total 125 day rental cost for 4 books (including standard shipping) $165.43
Savings of over $292 compared to my campus bookstore

So this semester (or next, or even the next) before you shell out hundreds of dollars at the campus bookstore, make sure you check out some of the online suggestions above…you’ll save a ton of money!

1 comment :

  1. I definitely agree that renting textbooks is a great option to save money and not get worked by the bookstore. I have been doing some research and I am going to try out TextbookStop.com this next semester; they seem like a pretty awesome company with super good prices.

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