EDU in Review News Blog

Getting Ripped Off on College Textbooks

college-textbooksFeeling like you are being ripped off is such a feeling of violation. And while students may complain that their college education isn’t worth the tuition, when you factor in the experience, college degree, and career, the complaints are highly debatable. But when it comes to complaining about being ripped off on college textbooks, students may just have a case.

It is estimated that the average college student spends $900 each year on college textbooks alone.

Between 1995 and 2004 textbook prices rose at more than four times the rate of inflation, according to Nicole Allen, a director at Student Public Interest Research Group, a student advocacy group. “Students are a captive audience since professors decide what books they need to buy,” says Allen.

But there are ways to avoid getting ripped off on that new eight-pound, $120 chemistry book that you’ll flip through for a semester and then sell back to the campus bookstore for $10.

First, consider renting college textbooks, rather than buying them. Chegg is an excellent place to pay just a fraction for your books and return them when you are done.

If you want to hold onto your books, bypass your campus bookstore and instead click over to Alibris.com or Ecampus.com. You can purchase new or used textbooks as well as rare books from licensed booksellers at a much reduced cost than buying them at the bookstore.

Just keep in mind that when you do purchase books online, you are typically responsible for all shipping costs.

Sharing books with classmates and creating student-run book exchanges are also great ways to save on college textbooks.

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6 Responses to “Getting Ripped Off on College Textbooks”

  1. Nicole Smith says:

    There are many options to textbook buying today. Comparison shopping is amongst the best ways to afford textbooks for college.

  2. Top Online Degrees says:

    First, consider renting college textbooks, rather than buying them. Chegg is an excellent place to pay just a fraction for your books and return them when you are done.

  3. New Site to Help Students Save Money on Textbooks | Edu in Review Blog says:

    [...] money for expensive textbooks can be a major source of stress for college students, with many campus bookstores selling at [...]

  4. What is the best way to sell used college text books? says:

    [...] Getting Ripped Off on College Textbooks | Edu in Review Blog [...]

  5. Meg says:

    I have saved a lot using CampusBooks.com to do price searches and comparisons. It retrieves the best deals so that you never have to pay full price on books. Then I do the same thing at the end of term when I sell them back. I shop at the campus bookstore, but not for textbooks.

  6. Carrie55 says:

    great column.. textbooks are so expensive and you have to be resourceful when kids are shopping for them.


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