Textbook shopping options for students on budget
Alexandra de Armas
The start of a new school year means class registration, tuition payments, financial aid lines and of course—the dreaded textbook fees. But fear no more. Here are some options that could save you money when you’re ready to purchase textbooks this semester:
Chegg.com is a textbook rental service that offers more than 4.2 million titles. Students can go to www.chegg.com to order a book. When the rental term ends, students receive a reminder e-mail from Chegg, prints the prepaid postage label— provided by Chegg— and drops the box off at the post office at no additional cost.
“Students who rent their textbooks from Chegg.com can choose to purchase their textbook at any time during the rental period,” said Angela Pontarolo, public relations manager for Chegg.com.
Students have saved more than $230 million by renting with Chegg.com, according to Pontarolo.
Limited highlighting is permitted, but books must be kept in good shape for the next customer. If a renter violates the rules or does not return the book on time, they will be charged a fee that varies with the case.
The Student Access Via Exchange program offers textbooks at reduced prices through a textbook exchange program.
Books are available for the following courses: Anatomy BSC 2085 and BSC 2086, Microbiology MCB 2010, Chemistry CHM 1033 and Nutrition HUN 1201.
To become a member, you pay a $25 fee each semester. That allows you to exchange textbooks from the classes listed above. If a student does not have a book to exchange they have a rental option for $35 per book.
“The idea of this program is for students to contribute books to increase the inventory to help other students,” said Beatriz Simon, program manager.
Highlighting and writing is not allowed in books. Students can’t purchase the books using their book advance.
Simon plans to launch a feature on the website www.mdc.edu/main/save that displays its inventory. Students will then be able to reserve books online. You can also call (305) 237-8357 or (305) 237-1250 to reserve a book.
Bookstores at Miami Dade College have arranged an innovative and affordable rental service for their students. By signing on to www.rent-a-text.com and providing some basic information— such as your name, school and e-mail address— you will be able to rent textbooks from the website, saving more than 50 percent on textbooks in the process.
“A new biology book may cost $165 and a used one may cost $125, but renting it would only cost a student $75,” said Omar Betts, district director for all MDC bookstores.
The bookstore currently has more than 130 book titles for rent. Rentable books will have a red sticker on them in the bookstore indicating they can be rented.
Students can use their book advance to purchase books.
Due to the congestion at the bookstore the first couple of weeks of the semester, students are encouraged to sign-up for the rental service prior to visiting the bookstore.
However, computers will be set up outside of the bookstore for students to use.
Students return the textbooks at a specified date. They will be reminded five days before books are due through e-mail. If a student decides to keep the book, they can pay the rest of the used book price.
Text4Swap is a website that allows college students to swap books with each other.
Membership is free the first year, with a $10 fee each year. Once a student finds a match, they are able to choose who they will swap with according to the book owners rating and the condition of the book. Students ship the book directly to each other.
If a student needs a book but doesn’t have a book to exchange, they have the option of making the other person an offer.
Choosing Text4Swap will also benefit the student’s school.
“Ten percent of the money collected by Text4Swap is given back to the schools of its members,” said Lance McGibbon, the founder and CEO of Text4Swap and also a former North Campus Student Government Association President. “This money is to be used for environmental development projects on-campus and in surrounding communities.”
For more information visit www.Text4Swap.com.
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