Rent Or Buy College Textbooks [UPD]
Recent College Board research found that students paid an average of $1,240 for books and supplies at four-year institutions and $1,460 at two-year institutions during the 2020-21 academic year. This represents roughly 5-8% of the yearly average cost of college, which is a significant amount.
rent or buy college textbooks
To try to save money, many students opt to rent their books instead of buying them. But is this cost-saving measure worth it? Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of buying versus renting your college textbooks below.
Students who have their own textbooks tend to do better in their classes. A 2017 study by Inside Higher Ed found that half of students who avoided or delayed buying books earned lower grades. If you buy college textbooks, you can also highlight and write notes in the margins to help you study.
Depending on your major, information in textbooks may continue to be useful well beyond graduation. If you own your books, you'll always have them to use as a reference. For example, engineering and science textbooks may contain many useful formulas that can help you work out equations on the job.
If you buy textbooks that you no longer need, you can resell them to your friends or classmates, to the campus bookstore, or through an e-commerce site. Depending on the quality of the book and the demand, you may be able to recoup a significant amount of your original purchase price.
Purchasing new or even used textbooks can be quite expensive. Campus bookstores are convenient, but their used book inventories might be scarce. Many students struggle to afford the price tag of books at the beginning of every term.
If you buy your books with the intention of selling them back, be mindful of highlighting or writing in your textbooks. If you sell them to a friend, marks and highlighting might not matter. But if you sell them to the campus bookstore or an e-commerce site, the sale price may plummet. It can be difficult to sell a used book, especially if it's filled with marks from your study sessions.
Renting books is less expensive than buying them. You can rent textbooks in most campus bookstores, as well as from e-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay. This option can help you save hundreds of dollars each term, which can really add up over the course of your time in college.
If you buy a textbook and then a new edition comes out a few months later with useful, updated content, you might feel as though you wasted money. If, however, you've decided to rent all your books, you can simply rent the newer edition for the next term.
Similar to buying used books, if you're renting your textbooks from an online dealer, you might be unpleasantly surprised by the condition of your books when you get them. Stray notes and highlighting may be distracting for some learners. Additionally, a rental company might try and charge you for damage to a book you didn't cause. Read the fine print on rental agreements carefully.
Many textbooks feature supplemental information, such as access codes for online lesson plans and coursework. Rented books, however, may not contain this information, or rental companies may charge extra for these materials, which can drive up the price.
Students have many options for renting their textbooks, from campus bookstores to e-commerce sites. Each e-commerce site has different policies on returns, shipping, and rental periods. It's important to read the fine print before agreeing to rent any college textbooks. Here are a few rental companies to consider.
Kim-Ling Sun has 12 years of experience teaching in high schools and community colleges. She is also a published poet, a community activist, and writer covering topics related to the Asian American community and education. She holds an MA in English from the University of Houston.","image":"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/highereducation\/images\/c_fill,g_face,f_auto,q_auto,h_60,w_60\/v1659637327\/BestColleges.com\/Kim-Ling-Sun_headshot-1_13395a8e3d\/Kim-Ling-Sun_headshot-1_13395a8e3d.png?_i=AA","link":"https:\/\/www.bestcolleges.com\/contributors\/kim-ling-sun\/","linkedin":"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/kim-ling-sun-1325a86b\/","twitter":"","web":"","career":"","subject":"Teaching, Asian American community, education","categories":["name":"Writer","slug":"writer"],"interviews":,"events":}],"date":"September 21, 2022","content":"College students spend a lot of time reading \u2014 but not all books need to be required. These 12 books can help you through your college years and beyond.","id":50603}]; Explore More College Resources View all How to Save Money on College Textbooks by Staff Writers April 26, 2021 E-Textbooks vs. Regular Textbooks by Staff Writers January 20, 2022 The 12 Best Books for College Students to Read in 2023 by Kim-Ling Sun September 21, 2022 BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Consider the pros and cons of buying vs. renting for each book required by your classes. You may want to buy some books to help refresh your memory later, but books for basic courses may not be as useful in the long term. Whatever you choose, make sure it makes sense financially and academically.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2006 and 2016, the price of textbooks used in college rose 88%. Unfortunately, students need textbooks to help them learn subjects, even though some of them are expensive.
Many students prefer to sell textbooks at the end of a semester because they are so expensive. This means they need to keep them in the best condition possible without notes in the margins or highlights.
A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.Try it for free!Renting Your College TextbooksIf you cannot afford to buy brand new books, renting textbooks is a great alternative. This service is offered in many places, from college libraries and bookstores to online bookselling platforms.
Just like we compare buying and rental options, we also compare sellback options. Most of the same websites that sell books to students are also interested in buying books. When you search for a book by ISBN, we provide a list of quotes. If you decide to sell your book to one of the sites, they will provide you free shipping labels. After you print the label, simply drop the book in the mail with the shipping label and you'll have that sweet sweet cash (or Amazon store credit if you sold through Amazon Trade-in) before you know it!
By compiling prices on textbooks into one, convenient spot, SlugBooks provides students with the cheapest prices available - even if those prices happen to be at the university bookstore. Buying or renting your textbooks has never been easier or cheaper. Just type in the school and the class and voila - the cheapest available textbook prices. We also allow search by ISBN, for those who prefer searching by book. We compare textbook prices between the largest and most trustworthy online new, used, rental and digital textbook sellers, including Amazon and Chegg.
...but they don't have to be. SlugBooks levels the playing field by providing information and finally (finally!) lets the student stick it to the man. We've seen $200 textbooks selling for less than $10 online. Our comparison tool makes sure that you'll never get taken advantage of again.
When it's not the beginning of the semester, we are busy producing animated miniseries for our college audience. We work with some of the best writers, voice actors and animators that colleges around the world have to offer. Our two pilot miniseries, DORMS and SUITE SISTERS, follow a pair of male and female roommates through their freshmen years of college. Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!
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If you have books for sale, you can either list them in our localized students exchanges (every college has its own exchange), or you can sell textbooks through our sellback page, which also allows you to compare textbook prices between all of the sites that buy them back.
Textbooks are a sore subject for most college students, as they're known for being expensive, and some students complain that their professors barely use the books they've asked students to buy. Believe it or not, the College Board estimates that students spend more than $1,200 on textbooks a year. It is cheaper to rent books, but is it always the best move?Buying Your Books
When you're purchasing textbooks, you'll have a choice between buying a new book and a used one. If saving money is a top priority for you, go with the used versions. Besides some highlights or notes in the margins, these should be just as good as their new counterparts. If you're worried that will distract you, opt for a newer book.Sometimes, you can't escape buying a new book. If your class requires a book that comes with supplemental materials (like a CD or workbook), you may be stuck buying a brand-new book. If you can, find someone who's taken the class before and ask if there is a particular reason why you need the latest edition of the text, or email the professor and ask if a used version will serve your purposes. Sometimes an older book will work just as well. Make sure the book comes with everything you need before you buy it!At the end of the semester, you'll usually have the option of selling your books back to the campus bookstore. Typically, buyback programs don't offer you as much money for your books. So something you purchased for $75 might sell for $20 at the end of the semester. Since you own the book, though, you also have the option to keep it for future reference or sell online. Renting Your Books 041b061a72