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 are soaring. From January 2006 to July 2016, the Consumer Price Index for college textbooks increased 88 percent. 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.
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.
The most obvious place to buy or rent books is the campus bookstore. Students can order books online and pick them up right 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, more information about this can be found here.
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. And, you can reserve your textbook online in advance so you can make sure you get it in time.
Another option for buying, selling or renting books is BarnesandNoble.com, Chegg.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. 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 has been a proliferation of other online and smartphone apps for buying and selling college textbook 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 student 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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