Are you headed to college this Fall? When you hit the campus bookstore, hang onto your jaw and your wallet! Why? Textbooks are expensive! According to MSNBC, today’s students spend between $500 and $900 per semester on textbooks. Multiply that by 4 years, and we’re talking over $7,000 on textbooks alone! So, here’s how to beat the system this semester, and save a few bucks:

  • Hit the bookstore the moment you get your list of required books. That way, you might still find used versions of your required textbooks.  
  • Comparison shop. At the campus bookstore, write down every book’s ISBN number – that’s the number at the top of the bar code. Then, pop online to compare prices at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, eBay, and Varsity Books.  
  • Another way to save money on college textbooks: Look into eBooks. They’re significantly cheaper that printed books, and most of the time, you can highlight passages and make notes in the margins – just like real books. eBooks are available at Amazon and CourseSmart.com. At iChapters.com, you can buy individual book chapters for as little as $2.  
  • Another money-saver: Textbook rentals! They’re available at many universities, and online at Chegg .com. You’ll save a lot of money, as long as you return your books on time. Go one day over your due date, and you’ll owe a $25 late fee. If you’re one week late, you just bought the book for the full purchase price.  
  • Look for free downloads. Classics and other books which no longer have copyright protection can be downloaded for free at websites like Project Gutenberg.
  • Find other people in your major, and start a book-sharing group. Sharing, buying, and selling books among yourselves can save you big bucks.