Textbooks are an essential component of education, but they come with hefty price tags that can put financial burdens on students. Students explore options like buying secondhand textbooks to minimize expenses.
Transportation and room and board are another significant expense that must be factored into any college budget. Students who commute between home and campus or have a long distance to travel within the university require reliable means of transportation. These expenses can be substantial, but students can make informed choices about the cost of transportation to maximize their savings opportunities.
In addition, the prices of textbooks have increased faster than inflation over the past decade, leaving many students struggling to afford them. This is especially true for community college students who spend more than half of their tuition on textbooks and other course materials. Some students make sacrifices such as taking fewer courses or skipping meals to cover the costs of books and other required materials, while others rely on financial aid to pay for their educational expenses.
Some colleges include an allowance in their cost of attendance estimates for books and supplies, but this amount is almost always low. It is possible to find lower-priced textbooks by shopping around online, borrowing books from a library or purchasing used copies from fellow students. Students can also save by only purchasing required textbooks and sharing them with a roommate. It is also worth asking a professor for an evaluation copy of the book, as they may be able to lend you a copy or let you use one from a previous semester.