I went to school for a long time with a double major & a minor and let me tell you what: I had to take out school loans to pay for all the books and extra stuff I needed. I was even working two jobs at the time but it just wasn't enough to pay for everything.
I didn't even know you could rent books until well into my second year of school.
WHY WOULD ANYONE BUY A BOOK IF YOU COULD JUST RENT ONE?!?!
I understand buying a book you see yourself using for the rest of your life, but I promise you College Algebra 2010 is not going to be one of them and that book is gonna take you for hundreds of dollars. Then when you go to return it, you are only gonna get like...$15. It's a horrible screwed up system. One that should be fixed to make college more affordable...
From sophomore year on I rented my text books, and it saved me SO.MUCH.MONEY.
I was able to pay for my books by myself and not take a loan out. No joke.
So, with this term ending and a new one about to begin, I am URGING you college-going-folk to RENT your text books. DO NOT BUY THEM. It's a waste of money. In my opinion, the best place to rent them is online. You have a MUCH wider selection and your hopes and dreams don't rely on that dinky store at the corner of the street.
There is a company/site/store/what-have-you called:
I want you all to know that I truly think this site is awesome and here is why:
CampusBookRentals saves you a TON of money 40-90% off bookstore prices. Yah that's right, Intro to Art History doesn't NEED to cost $150.00!
A BIG downer to renting most places online is that you have to pay for shipping, well you don't with this site. It's free shipping--BOTH WAYS.
And no worries, you can still highlight in the books, and if you end up needing the book a little longer than you thought, they are totally flexible with you.
And if saving a boatload of cash isn't ENOUGH reason to use this site, they also donate a portion of each book rented to Operation Smile. So you get to feel good about yourself, too.
CBR just started a new initiative called RENTBACK. It lets you rent your already owned books to other students. Which is pretty awesome because it's going to make you 2-4 times more money than you would through the "buy-back" programs schools have. (a.k.a, rip-off schemes...)
I hope to be going back to school before my credits expire (10 years?) and when I go back I know finances will be a lot tighter than they were when I was a single student. I know for a fact I will be using this store when I need to get my textbooks taken care of, and I hope this helps you guys save some money too.
I was paid to do this post, but I would have done it anyways. Because I think there are a LOT of people who take advantage of college students. By the time you actually know what you are doing, you are almost done with your degree, and these people know that. So they hike up the prices, have only a "limited number available" to scare you into buying right then, and then rip you off when you "sell" it back. This site will save you guys SO MUCH money, time, effort and tears.
Here is a video to explain everything a little better:
I wish I had found out about this sooner, so I am hoping I am catching you guys in time before you spend a fortune on books like Under Water Basket-Weaving 101 and I really hope you check it out.