Many parents of college students are now breathing a sigh of relief, having signed off on that big fall bill for tuition.
But not so fast: It's now time to buy textbooks. Luckily, there are some new ways to slash those costs.
$200 for a single book?
We spoke with two engineering students facing hundreds of dollars in textbooks fees. "One of them is $200, the other is $130," one student complained. "It's pretty expensive."
So they try to buy used versions, and even share books if possible. That cuts the price by 50%.
But other students we spoke with told us they are turning to an even cheaper option: textbook rentals.
Where to rent
Top rated rental sites include:
- Chegg.com : The "granddaddy of rental sites," it has a reputation for having the most titles, though it's not always the cheapest.
-Campus Book Rentals.com
New this year, Amazon is now renting too , as well as selling used textbooks, though its selection appears more limited, students say.
We could see the appeal of renting, as we browsed some titles in a campus bookstore.
The popular accounting book, Survey of Accounting by Carl Warren, lists for a whopping $264. Used versions are usually well over $100.
-But eCampus.com rents it for $98 a semester.
-Chegg rents it for $80 a semester
-Campus Book Rentals rents it for $22 a semester, though it is not the newest version.
Beware outdated versions
And that's the one catch: the rental may be an older version.
For instance, the new version of Survey of Accounting shows a windmill farm on the cover: Several sites are renting editions showing cash on the cover that are as much as 5 or 6 years old.
Be sure to check with your professor before renting an older edition: In some cases, the changes are very minor. But in other cases, the chapters and text won't match.
But $300 for a new book? Many students would probably say don't waste your money.
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