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5 surprising college textbook money saving tips for international students

Did you know sometimes you don’t even end up using your college textbooks and that professors just go over the book content in their lectures?

5 surprising college textbook money saving tips for international students

Wednesday February 21, 2018,

3 min Read

If you are a cheap ass international college student (like I was) looking to save some cash on textbooks, you are in the right place. Depending on your course of study, some of it may not be possible but here are 5 surprising tips to save money on your textbooks. And NO, this is not the usual, buy used books online on Amazon blabla. ENJOY!


Buying older editions

Do you see the difference in price? I studied Economics & Finance for my college degree, so to explain in economic terms, more people are willing to pay more for the newer edition because it’s “required” on their syllabus. Hence, leaving the older edition with lower demand and higher supply resulting in lower prices.

To be honest, there is little to NO DIFFERENCE in the book’s content most of the time. I have mostly seen just a change of a few pictures, homework problems, and chapters. Sometimes I even bought 2-3 older edition textbooks and virtually everything was the same.

Buying book summaries

If you will be using the books just for literature/reading purposes for certain classes and if the professors don’t require you to bring it to class for solving homework problems etc, then buying or just looking up the summaries online is a much easier way to go about it.

You are not getting the unnecessary filler and fluff that goes with most books; only the meat and potato. You can google book summaries or use essaysarea.com if you’re looking to save time and money. This works really well with English, History, and Philosophy classes.

Lending from library/friends

This one is hit or a miss depending on what kind of textbook you are looking for. If you are in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) field, then it will be much more difficult to find them in the libraries.

However, for non-STEM majors, you have a better chance. If you go to your school’s library directory website and search for the books you need, you might be surprised to find exactly what you are looking for. I had the most success with History, English, and Philosophy courses. The sciences were the most difficult… I buy papers and homework at ohmyessay.com all time, but now it's not about that.

If you have a good friend or have a few people you study with, there is nothing wrong with splitting the costs. Since other people will keep you accountable, you might as well do your homework on time and get a better grade!



Ebook and PDF versions

Besides buying Kindle, B&N, iBooks, you would be surprised a lot of the books online in their eBook format. If you go to Gutenberg.org, it has a collection of eBooks FOR FREE. Some books you need might not be in gutenberg.org but in pirated sites, and I am not encouraging you to become eBook pirates, so buy the eBooks legally (much cheaper than print). However, for the one who must, it’s your choice.

Just don't get the book

Sometimes I didn’t even buy the textbooks that were supposedly required for a few of my courses because the professor themselves went over everything I needed to know. I just took a lot of notes and had a very good track record of attending classes.

The best way to determine whether you will actually need it is to: Attend class for 1-2 weeks without buying the textbooks and get a feel for the professor’s teaching method. If they are talkers or write a lot of notes on the board, it’s a safe bet that you won’t be needing the books.