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Tips to save money when buying your college and university textbooks

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Every year the cost of education continues to rise, but when you take into account transportation, books, food and entertainment, you quickly realize that it can be a challenge managing your finances while attending a post-secondary institution. Here are some practical ways students can save money when buying their college and university textbooks.

Buy older editions

One of the simplest and fastest ways in which you can save money on your textbooks is by buying an older edition of the same book. Older edition textbooks cost only a fraction of the price and contain most of the required information. If there are changes between an older edition and newer edition they are usually found between the problem sets which can be addressed by photo-copying the newer edition from a friend.

Buy online instead of at a bookstore

The main reason to buy online is that you can find more significant deals than the ones offered at the bookstore. There are several websites that will sell used books online, just make sure that the textbook that you want is of the same edition and is in good condition. Also, if you are ordering it online, be sure to check the delivery date, as some books may take as long as two weeks to ship out, so beware.

Rent instead of buying

You can also save a lot of money by renting books rather than buying them. The main advantage of renting is that it gives you the latest edition of a text at a fraction of the price. Also, you don't have to go through the hassle of trying to sell them at the end of the semester. You should only consider renting as an option if you know you are not going to keep that book for reference for future courses. However, beware that if you are renting from an online service, it takes time for your rented books to arrive, so be sure to order them early.

Buy Ebooks

Many publishers now offer Ebooks as an option. The main advantage of Ebooks is that they are cheap and can be instantly downloaded to your device, so no shipping costs or long waiting times for the books to arrive. Another advantage of Ebooks is that they are digital, so unlike bulky textbooks, you can save them on your digital viewer. However, beware that most Ebook publishers disable the printing option or only allow for the printing of a few pages.

As you can see, there are a myriad of ways by which you can save money when buying your college and university books. Hopefully these tips will help save you money this upcoming semester.

Arif Khan is part of the Toronto Students' Community.

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