Ways to save on textbooks for college

News 12 This Morning

August 30, 2013

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW)--The second week of school is firing up at USC Aiken and students like sophomore Shaun Campbell are still trying to get class textbooks.

"[It's] ery stressful," he said. "My first year--[I was] a freshman. I didn''t really know much about buying books so I bought my books at the Pacer Shop."

He says he's shocked at how expensive books can be. This semester, for one class--

"It's like, $200--$300 for their set of books," Campbell explained.

Students like Campbell are the reason why bookstore services director Heidi DiFranco says the school decided to start offering another option.

"The students have requested that we start rental books," she explained. "Right now we only have 12 titles. And, we will be expanding as the semesters go on."

DiFranco and her staff chose the 12 most expensive books required this semester to start the program. And, after more than a decade in the university textbook business, she says universities are doing the best they can to provide cheaper options.

"We try to get value books, books a la carte, we try to break up the packages," she said. "We also are offering eBooks."

Other savings options include:

- buying used books
- buying online at sites like Amazon or eBay
- renting through an online site like Chegg.com

But, DiFranco says students like Campbell should consider supporting their university owned bookstore.

"All the money that is spent here in the store stays with the college," she explained. Our slogan is 'our purchases fund scholarships.'"

"I understand," said Campbell. "I don't really look at that perspective, 'oh the money goes back into the school' because that money is still coming out of my pocket."

DiFranco says the average student at USC Aiken should expect to pay about $300 to $500 for textbooks per semester.


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