Any college student or teacher can tell you that the prices for textbooks have gone up an insane percentage over the course of 25 years. At an estimate of 812%, the price of school books has inflated more than almost anything else in the U.S. Public elementary, middle, and high schools still provide students with free rentals from their libraries, so college students and even those funding public schools must worry about the currently rising costs.
Levels of textbooks
While the most popular subject in any sort of media may be about college textbooks, even the prices of high school and elementary school books have gone up. Generally, the higher the level of education, the higher prices the textbooks will be. More and more people that require purchasing textbooks for a class, which are mostly college students, are buying them used instead of new. Textbooks, especially hard copies, are usually pretty durable and can last for many years of being used each semester. Some professors or teachers allow the use of older editions in the classroom, but warn students that for some chapters, homework problems may need to be based off of solely the new edition. Others even put homework problems that are similar for older editions of the same textbook, since they understand that not all students can afford newer books.
Students that are still in elementary, middle, or high school need not worry about purchasing books for school. Schools are funded by a lot of different state, local, and federal programs, so that this is still possible. College students must pay a tuition fee, a possible application fee, and of course they must pay to either purchase or rent textbooks. There is always the option of going to the library at that particular college to see if they are able to lend it out to study for a while. More students these days have been purchasing e-textbooks and pdf files instead of buying a physical copy of the book. They are generally cheaper than physical copies and can be read on any device such as on computers, tablets, smart phones, or consoles that support web browsing.
Acquiring the Textbooks
Due to rising costs of textbooks for college students, people are relying on websites that offer them for discounted rates. Buying them ahead of time, well before a semester or a quarter starts can save some money as well. Students purchasing required textbooks from the school bookstores themselves may be able to get the books immediately, but it won’t save them money if they purchase it new or even used. Websites such as Chegg, Neebo, CampusBooks, and Barnes and Noble provide textbooks at a fair price for both rentals and purchases. Sometimes, they even provide a certain percentage off or free shipping if you buy the amount they ask for or above. Some websites even list certain digital copies of textbooks, most likely the older editions, for free for all to use. Even Amazon sells pdf copies of textbooks.
Overall, if students do their research, they could be saving a lot of money when purchasing or renting textbooks. The cost of an education is alone well enough money for students to worry about, so finding a way to reduce it is important. It might also be useful to see if any friends or classmates would be willing to let them borrow books to save on money if they take the same courses. As for the public schools, textbooks will remain free for rent from that particular school’s library. Students that lose or damage the book over the year may have to pay penalty fees or replace the book entirely.