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You Remember, Those Things With 2 Covers And A Bunch Of Pages.
A lot has changed since my daughter was a student at FAU but the one thing that has not is that textbooks are expensive. Sure the format is different, but the cost for books and supplies is soaring. From January 2006 to July 2016, the Consumer Price Index for college textbooks increased by 88%. But students today have many different options than we did including rentals. Textbooks can cost as much as a few hundred dollars each. Some students may appreciate being able to mark up and highlight a textbook, while others may be satisfied with an online edition. Sometimes new books are required, because of an online code that comes with the book. And, believe it or not, for some classes, my daughters were able to either not purchase the book at all or just purchase the online version.
HaveUHeard that many colleges are now encouraging professors to utilize Open Educational Resources which are teaching and learning materials that students may use freely and reuse at no cost. FAU also collaborates with Follett Bookstores and several national publishers to offer Follett’s ACCESS program which delivers all course materials, both print and digital to students at a substantial discount on or before the first day of class. Follett’s ACCESS Program allows students to opt-in to receive their discounted course materials. With a few easy steps, students gain instant access to their textbooks and save up to 40% off the national retail price. Make certain your student checks the resources out first before purchasing books.
When buying books, your student must consider whether they want an actual textbook or a digital version (which is often available). If they prefer a book, then I suggest buying used or renting whenever possible. My daughter often asked her sorority sisters first. Students would much rather sell their books to a friend then back to the bookstore; they make more money back that way. You may want to mention to your students that as they meet people and look for the low-down on classes before registering for each semester, they should take note of who already took the class. Asking someone to save a book (fancy calculator, i-clicker, etc.) for them can guarantee a used book when they need it later. Students can also buy or sell their textbooks through the Facebook group called FAU Textbook Exchange. Also on Facebook, there are FAU groups for each graduating class and students try to sell books, access codes, and iClickers. Another place to look for textbooks would be eBay.
The most obvious place to buy or rent books is the campus bookstore. Students can order books online and pick them up at the bookstore on campus. Students can also rent textbooks from the FAU bookstore. They can also be returned there at the end of the semester. The FAU bookstore will price match textbooks from Amazon, bn.com, and other local bookstores. There are some restrictions.
Many FAU students buy and sell textbooks at the local bookstore, Booksmart. Booksmart is located behind FAU’s Boca Raton campus, off of 20th street. Booksmart sells both new and used textbooks, as well as some materials you may need for specific classes (lab coats, Iclickers, etc) Booksmart also sells FAU apparel, usually for a cheaper price than the on-campus bookstore. Booksmart is nice because you just tell them what classes you are in and then they grab the books for you and they let you know your options (buying old, new, or renting).
Another option for buying, selling, or renting books is BarnesandNoble.com, or U-Loop. Then there is Prime Student Amazon; of which I am a huge fan. Students can use their FAU email to get six months of Amazon Prime for free (free shipping) and then for only $50 a year. And, yes, Amazon rents too. Chegg is offering savings up to 90% on textbooks. Rent or buy and get 7-day instant access to the e-book or savings up to $500 on textbook rental or purchase.
I personally think renting is the least expensive way to go. Students can save as much as 80% by renting a textbook for the semester. There have been a proliferation of other online and smartphone apps for buying and selling college textbooks including Slugbooks, TextbookRush, Booksmart, Bookbyte, and Packback.
So while textbook prices are soaring, so too are the options for buying, renting, and selling. Now some of you may encourage your students to be proactive and order their textbooks early, but hang on. I have heard too many times that books arrive and then on the first day of class, the professor announces they have changed books, wants the newest edition or that they really don’t need a book at all. Be sure they can return any books purchased ahead of time should this happen or wait to order it until they confirm what they need.
Let the studying begin!
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