Tuesday, November 18, 2008

College Textbook Dilemma - High Price Textbooks

Our daughter is a Junior in College this year. She is going to a public university or state university (which ever way you want to say it). There is no way that we can afford a private college. Tuition this year for the Fall Semester went up another $300. This will put the 2008-2009 tuition to over $7,000. That doesn't even include the books, school supplies, meals, bus fair, apartment living, utilities, general shopping expenses and entertainment (when necessary).

Before our daughter entered college, we did look into some private colleges. But once the price tag came out, well public college isn't so bad. Especially when her dad said, "We will help pay your way through college". So far, we have been paying most of the way.

Let's talk about college textbooks. What makes some of these books so important that they can sell for more than $100 new? Most college books are disposable. Your student will use it for the one semester and then never have a need for it again. Do you think she will put it on her favorite reading shelf? Then, when her friends ask her to join them at the beach, do you think she will say, "Hey wait a minute, I will take along my 'PHILOSOPHY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY' book. That way, I can read it while soaking up some sun!" Find this on Check Out My Half.com site

We have been comparing the price of textbooks between the University's bookstore and online websites. The University claims that they keep their prices down and don't make a profit off of the books. They even have a buy back the book program. Please!!! Anytime you sell back the books to a University or back to an online college book site (I checked this out), it is not a good deal. Our daughter, bless her, sold back most of her freshman textbooks from the fall semester to the bookstore. She brought this up, when I asked for the books. Because I was planning on putting them online to sell and I felt like screaming, when I found out that all she got back was about 25% of what we had paid.

Lately, whether it is the professors or some conspiracy plot, the textbooks needed for classes are listed within a week or a little more prior to when they start. Some professors do wait until classes had begin. This definitely makes it hard to get the best deal on overpriced (must be made of gold and diamonds) college textbooks.

At times, the university actually does come out ahead with used book prices. Most of the time I find a better deal online. You just have to compare. These are the two sites that I go to the most to find the best deals: http://www.cheapesttextbooks.com http://www.gettextbooks.com gettextbooks.com does list some rental sites. It is cheaper to rent. But is it really cheaper when you send it back? On the average http://www.half.com seemed to win out. But this time, http://www.amazon.com took the deal.

We ended up buying some of the books after classes started, because they weren't listed at the time. Isn't that a shocker!

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