ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

College Textbooks - Tips on How to Save Money During College

Updated on November 5, 2011

If you have ever had to purchase textbooks, then you know that they are not cheap. Students often spend hundreds of dollars a semester on textbooks.

The university that I attend has a bookstore on campus that supplies all the required college textbooks for each of the courses offered at the university. Many students opt for this route because buying books from the campus bookstore is the easiest way to go. But, that option is NOT the cheapest.

In my experience, I have found that by spending a little extra time doing some research, I have saved a TON of money on textbooks by not buying them at my campus bookstore. Ordering them online may take some extra work, but in the end, it is well worth your time and effort.

In addition to saving some extra money by ordering your texts online, I'll tell you about some other ways you can save some dough that have worked for me.

There are both pros and cons to ordering online.


  • You can save LOTS of money
  • Higher probability of a discount


  • There is the possibility that you may not order the required edition
  • You may not order the correct version. For example most textbooks come in an international version and an american version. They can differ in some ways. Note: international versions are often super cheaper than american versions, so beware!

Textbook Sites

Here are some great sites online that you can purchase textbooks from. I find that if I can't find a textbook on one site, I can go to another site and find it.

These are other ways that I have been able to save some money on textbooks.

  1. Share with a friend and split the cost- this only works well if you live near your friend. This works really well between roommates. Some professors frown on this practice because they would prefer each student to own their own text. It really depends on the class you are taking.
  2. Purchase used texts whenever possible- I have never bough a brand new text by my choice. I have only purchased a new textbook if that was all I could find. I actually prefer to have a used text because if you are lucky, the main points are already highlighted by the previous user for you! Of course, that only helps if the previous owner was a good student : )
  3. Resale after you are through- If you don't wish to keep you text after you have completed the course, sell it! Odds are that you won't get the same price you paid for it originally, but you will get a good chunk of change for it regardless. Just keep it in good condition!
  4. Downloadable textbooks- Some courses offer books online if you don't want to buy the book. These are free and accessible with a password from your teacher. I have used an online book for one of my accounting courses, and found that using an online book was more difficult for me. There's just something about having a book right in front of you where you can blanket the pages in post-its if you need to. But, I know other people who love having their texts online.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • brandrocker profile image


      10 years ago

      The cons side you have refer to can be avoided if you know the ISBN. Otherwise, check the website like Amazon, where you can read first few pages online before placing the order.

    • cjcarter profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago

      Glad to help! I know I'll miss the summer once it passes for sure. One semester I had to spend around $400 on textbooks...or, thats what my campus bookstore wanted for them anyway ; ) One of my friends is pre-med, and all her books cost around $900! Ridiculous!

    • Chris1|Chris2 profile image


      11 years ago from Los Angeles

      I will definitely be checking out these websites in the coming weeks... School fast approaches once again! What happened to the summer?!

      These sites should definitely ease the initial pain of buying all those textbooks. It's crazy how much the gouge students at my college's bookstore!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)