The Best Place to Find College Textbooks (Other Than the Bookstore)

College Finance
September 22, 2020
As If The Overall Cost Of College Wasn’t Enough, Many Students Must Also Bear The Brunt Of Expensive Textbooks...

Whether students have to take a class by a specific professor who writes their own textbooks or are taking an advanced level course, textbooks are a core part of the college process. Unfortunately, textbooks can also be one of the most expensive parts of college, even with financial aid.

Very little financial aid exists specifically for the purpose of textbooks, but there are numerous accessible resources for students to get the books they need for half the cost - and sometimes, even for free. Keep reading to find out how your child can re-evaluate their college budget to ensure that they’re getting the best deal for their college textbooks.

The Importance Of Budgeting For College

Getting a college degree is no inexpensive feat. From tuition and activity fees, to housing and dining payment plans, budgeting for college is non-negotiable.

Oftentimes, a student’s freshman year is the most expensive out of all four years because not only are students paying all the up-front fees, but they’re also starting a new life somewhere which means getting settled and buying housing necessities. Plus, if they’re going to an out-of-state school, the cost of moving will be much more than if they were going to a college near home.

When you and your child begin budgeting for their college education, encourage them to think about applying for financial aid as early as possible. This preparation includes applying for  scholarships, grants, and as a last resort, student loans.

The main two areas of their college budget that they should focus on before turning their focus to textbooks are tuition coverage and the actual settling in process of moving on or off campus. Once these plans are set and they’re all registered for their first semester classes, they can begin doing research on the cost of textbooks and outline how much money they’ll need to set aside.

How To Reduce The Cost Of College Textbooks

The absolute best way that students can reduce the cost of college textbooks is by simply being aware of all their resources, because there are countless tools that every student has access to that make purchasing textbooks a whole lot simpler - both for their peace of mind and their wallets.

Firstly, students can do research on certain businesses or websites that specialize in selling college textbooks. When students go with booksellers whose primary focus is college textbooks, they have a much better chance at scoring some essential books for a reduced price.

Then, students should remember that college communities are usually tight-knit, and upperclassmen on campus probably know all the best places to get reduced price textbooks.

Lastly, just like any item in a store, college textbooks also go on sale, are advertised on clearance shelves, and oftentimes are promoted with a money-saving deal, like buy-one-get-one. Students also don’t have to buy textbooks brand new. When they learn the right platforms, they can save loads of money by purchasing used textbooks.

The Best Places To Find College Textbooks

If your child doesn’t know where to look for textbooks, encourage them to contact their future college’s student advocate offices to ask about what it’s like to purchase textbooks on campus, and whether or not their college bookstore offers deals to any freshmen.

Next, they can start their search online, fill their shopping carts with all the textbooks they need, and pay next to nothing!


Online textbook sellers are by far one of the most affordable, user-friendly methods for students who are trying to save money on textbooks:


Encourage your child to check with other students on online forums, group chats, and message boards. Many students sell their college textbooks on popular community websites like Facebook Marketplace and college-specific social sites. Students should use this to their advantage and let other students know what textbooks they’re looking for and see whether any upperclassmen have copies that they don’t use anymore.

Most discounted textbooks are found this way on college campuses, and since every student knows how difficult it is to manage finances during college, your child will most likely get the textbooks they need either for very little cost.

Plus, students can use this same platform later in their college career to get rid of textbooks they don’t need anymore!


Used bookstores that sell textbooks are common in college towns. Before your child heads over to the campus bookstore where every book is brand new and usually overpriced, help them find local bookstores that have discounted textbooks. They may even have a special exchange program where students can turn in their old books for new ones!

All You Have To Do Is Ask!

Remember, in order to find the best deals, your child needs to seek out all the right resources, tools, and connections. Many students pay full price for textbooks when they could be saving hundreds, maybe even thousands depending on their major, all because they didn’t seek out other options.

Whether students use a helpful website, their campus community, or off-campus used bookstores, finding the textbooks they need for a fraction of the cost is an open and available option.

All they have to do is ask!

Fortunately, while you and your child are busy budgeting for college, WeAdmit’s professional counselors are available for any college finances questions you may have. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our counselors today to discover the resources you can use to ensure your child gets the college textbooks they need without paying a fortune.



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