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Trimming the Textbook Price Tag

How to Beat the Rising Costs Textbooks

With a job market that is becoming increasingly competitive, it is no surprise that the demand for a college education is on the rise. Exploding tuition costs are no secret, but even while most students are well aware of education's hefty price tag, some are still stinging from one of school's hidden costs: textbooks.

A study conducted by the Government Accountability Office found that college textbook prices rose at twice the rate of annual inflation over the last two decades. The College Board reported that for the 2007-08 academic year, spending on books and supplies ranged from $805 to $1,229. So, as the power of your dollar gets weaker, the price of textbooks continues to grow. So are there any cheap textbooks anymore?

So, what can a student do to get cheap textbooks for school? Buy used textbooks. According to consumertipsreport.org, students can save 40% just by purchasing used textbooks. Students should check out campus bulletin boards at the beginning or end of a term and see if any students are selling (or giving away) their used textbooks. Other options include online retailers and campus bookstores. There are a number of online retailers that sell used textbooks which help drive down the price. Campus bookstores tend to have many used textbooks available, and because of its affiliation with the school, may have the book you’re looking for. Despite the fact that textbooks are readily available as the demand increase students continue to find cheap textbooks for their classes and many colleges are starting to notice.

As the price of college textbooks rise, schools are starting to make changes of their own. Some colleges are starting to offer digital textbooks free, or for a small fee, online in pdf format. Digital textbooks can be easily customized and updated which could help the costs of having to buy a new edition year to year.

Having a college education is essential when trying to enter the job market. Students strapped for cash need all the relief they can get. Used or rented textbooks can be great way to cut down on the cost of higher education.