Clark.com | 10.18.2016

Before we start, let’s gather facts.

According to College Board, the average annual cost of public out-of-state tuition is $23,893 (2015-2016 school year) and $32,405 for private schools. Room and Board costs $10,138 for the average public university and $11,516 for private university. It’s estimated that each student will pay upwards of $1,200… for textbooks.

Yes, textbooks cost big money too. But they don’t have too!

Clark.com did an amazing article on how to save money on textbooks I think all parents and students should be privy of. Of the 9 awesome tips, here are FreeCollegeUniversity‘s top 3…

1. Use Multiple Sources

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You’ll want to make sure that you are shopping around for your textbooks. Personally, I’ve found that the bookstore prices are always marked up. Bookstores are big profit for universities, plain and simple. But you can avoid paying too much by making the bookstore your LAST option.

Start your book search online with sellers (Powell’s Books, Skyo, etc). Some of those resellers even rent books (huge way to save some mullah). Don’t forget about your brick and mortar bookstores (Borders, Barnes & Noble, etc). It’s highly likely that you’ll find the book you need.

Word to the wise: Just make sure you have the correct ISBN (International Standard Book Number).

2. Buy Used

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You can save tons of money if you buy used textbooks. Most used textbooks are in great shape, and you’ll likely be selling your textbooks too when you are done with them. Check out websites like Alibris, Thirftbooks, AmazonEbay or even Craigslist and see if the book you need is available. Ask your professor if an older edition of a book will suffice. If you can get away with an older edition, you are sure to save some coins.

3. Go to the Library

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Use your public library! They’re everywhere. Why buy when you can borrow that 1000+ page Chemistry Book for free? I’ve borrowed many books from the public library and college campuses may even have some of the books you’ll need for school year in their library.

Word to the wise: Once you receive your book list for the year, contact to the school’s library and place a hold on the book if possible. Free course materials don’t last long after classes begin for the semester.

So in a nutshell, you don’t always have to pay full price for textbooks. If you have a few nice tips and tricks, leave them in the comment section below!

Geoffrey D. from FreeCollegeUniversity

More reading: Clark.com’s 9 ways to save on College Textbooks