11 Ways to Save Big on College Textbooks

Students at public four-year colleges spent an average of $1,298 on books and supplies during the 2015-16 school year. Here are ideas for slashing those costs.

10. Pay smart

Your school may offer textbook advance loans to ease you into the semester before financial aid comes in. You might also be tempted to charge books to your credit card.

Both those options risk extra fees and possibly interest, so read up before you swipe or sign.

On the other hand, credit cards are smart to use for online purchases, in case there are any disputes. Just pay off the balance as quickly as possible. Looking for a credit card? Our Solutions Center can help.

11. Sell back

Digital books and rentals can save you money up front. But until digital options finally dominate the market, most traditional paper textbooks still have good resale value.

For now, you ultimately keep more money in your pocket by buying used and reselling before a new edition is released. (When a new edition comes out, the value of older editions plummets – which is why you can buy old editions for so little.)

Do you have great tips for saving on textbooks? Share your thoughts by commenting below or on .

Brandon Ballenger
Brandon Ballenger
I'm a freelance journalist living in South Florida. If I'm not writing, I'm playing video games or at the beach. My favorite spice is oregano, and I thought you should know. I ... More

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