Take proper precautions before buying college textbooks

According to the National Association of College Stores, every textbook dollar goes toward the expenses of the publishers, the author, shipping costs and the operations of the college store. (WRDW-TV / July 27, 2011)

According to the National Association of College Stores, every textbook dollar goes toward the expenses of the publishers, the author, shipping costs and the operations of the college store. (WRDW-TV / July 27, 2011)

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- As students prepare to venture off to college, the cost of textbooks has always been a hot topic.

With the steady increase in tuition and the climbing costs for the appropriate materials, parents and students are left with aching pockets.

According to the National Association of College Stores, every textbook dollar goes toward the expenses of the publishers, the author, shipping costs and the operations of the college store.

Michelle Kneely, the bookstore manager at the Augusta State University bookstore, has been employed at the store for almost 17 years.

"The shelf price goes against what the publisher's price is," Kneely said. "We have our mark up from what the publishers determine their price to be."

Natalie Smith, a student employee at the bookstore, see the burden in the cost of textbooks.

"Some of it can be really overwhelming," Smith said. "I think some of the books are really overpriced, and it takes a lot away from us.

In order to aid students with the biggest expense next to tuition, some universities offer patrons the choice to rent their textbooks. Departments on other campuses cooperate with publishers to offer cheaper, customized books.

"The first tip I would say is to shop early, because used books are available early," Kneely said. "Used books are 25 percent cheaper than new books."

When trying to save a substantial amount of money on course materials, textbooks can be found cheaper on websites such as Amazon and Half.com. Chegg.com and other sites offer textbook rentals.

"One thing I suggest to people is to go ahead and email your professor to see how necessary some of the books are," Smith said. "Sometimes they'll put them on the syllabus as an option."

However, the proper precautions should be made, such as ordering ahead of time and making sure the right book has been purchased.

"As a precaution, just be careful. Editions change, packages, change, and even instructors change," Kneely said. "Be conscious and aware of what you're buying and who you're buying from."

Whether you want to buy your books online or purchase them at the bookstore, make sure you are getting the correct materials.


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