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Textbook Tips for College Students

When students are seeking options as it relates to purchasing College Textbooks at a cheaper rate, every little bit of information helps. College textbooks are often very pricey and when individuals are exposed to alternatives to cutting costs it serves as beneficial for the student and the family members. Below are my Top Seven Tips for College Students who are seeking Textbook Purchasing Tips as they "Aim Towards the Target" of academic success.

Tip # 1 - Email the Professor

Students upon the first day of class if you are able contact your Professor to ask if they can provide you with the ISBN number(s), Title of book, Author and edition for the textbooks or computer programs you will need for the class. Most professors have no problem informing the students of this information. In rare cases where the professor is awaiting approval for the textbooks that will be used, that is and might be the only time you will have to wait to receive the information. Also an addition to Tip # 1 is to see if the Course syllabus is posted on the school's learning portal to obtain the book information. The goal is to get this information well before classes begin so you will have enough time to compare prices and order textbooks. Once you obtain the ISBN number(s) you are able to compare the textbook prices online and with your school's bookstore to see which options are feasible for you and your family members without the pressure of hurrying to buy a book because the instructor will begin assigning work the first day of class.

Tip # 2 - Renting vs. Buying

After you've received the information regarding the ISBN number(s), author, edition and prices, look on other websites to see if you are able to rent the textbook. Sometimes renting textbooks is cheaper than purchasing a textbook. Some students prefer renting textbooks because they will only use this book one time. If in the event you know that you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a book you will only utilize for 14-16 weeks consider renting the textbook.

Tip # 3 - Public & School Library

Consider visiting a public library or your campus library to ask if the textbook you need is in stock. In most cases it's best to begin the pursuit of ordering a textbook and using this option as an alternative to catch up on readings and to complete homework or class assignments. Most libraries don't allow students to check out some textbooks that teachers put on reserve in the library, but it's always a good idea to just see you never know what will happen. Also check out the public library, some libraries have textbooks to check out sometimes.

Tip # 4 - Visit a Used Bookstore

Going to Barnes & Noble is great but visiting a used bookstore or a used bookstore website to see if your book is in stock is another option.

Tip # 5 - Ask Someone you know if they have the book

It never hurts to ask someone that you know whether family, friend, classmate or colleague if you can borrow a book for the class you need. In some cases individuals have no problem letting you borrow their textbooks or even having them but in the event where someone wants to sell you their textbook, consider negotiating a price considering it is used and if you come up with an agreed amount draft a typed receipt where both of you can sign indicating that you paid for the textbook with the date. Also I recommend you pay the individual with a USPS money order, check, money order or cashier's check.

Tip # 6 - Ask your instructor

Asking your instructor if they have an extra copy of the textbook for you to borrow is not a bad idea either. Most students don't think to ask this but if you are need it never hurts to ask. If the teacher says yes great, but if the instructor says no that's fine too. You never know unless you ask.

Tip # 7 - Check with your Professor on the Edition

This is by far the most helpful tip to me because during all levels of education I asked each professor this question that I'm about to share and I had favorable outcomes each time. When the professor assigns the textbook they want you to purchase for the class ask them if you it is ok to get another edition of the same book. For example your instructor tells you to purchase "Bird Watching by Birdwatch Edition 45" but you see the same book but a different edition..."Bird Watching by Birdwatch Edition 41" the material is the same the only thing that is different is some of the readings, updates and added homework problems and scenarios You inform the professor that you have the book but do you have their permission to get the 41st edition. Most professors will tell you something like "You can get that edition but I don't know what you are going to do about the assigned readings and homework problems that slightly differ from that edition." You simply come back with.. Is it possible that I can meet with you during your conference hours to view the newest edition to get the readings and homework from that? Most teachers will say yes or modify instruction to meet your needs. If they don't at least you tried.

I had several instructors allow me to get the older editions of books and some instructors informed my classmates and I that we could get any edition it didn't matter. When I heard those words I found the 1st or 2nd edition of the book and paid a PENNY to TEN CENTS for the textbook.

Tip # 8 - Visit the Textbook Publisher's Website

Visit the Textbook Publishers website and contact someone to see if there are free chapters to view online. Some textbook publishers offer this feature where students can create accounts and view practice material, key words, homework help and literal chapters of the textbooks online for free. This is beneficial for individuals college students working on a undergraduate or graduate school degree.

Continue to Aim Towards the Target!

Peace & God Bless,

Dr. Bryant


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