The start of classes can be nerve-wracking, but perhaps the biggest headache of all is shelling out cash for textbooks.
Terry Blake, business management junior, said the bookstore’s prices always overwhelm him.
“The books are so expensive,” Blake said. “Sometimes financial aid doesn’t cover everything.”
Eligible students can get a $600 loan for books, which Blake said is not always enough.
Blake’s money-saving tip is to wait until the semester starts to ensure each professor actually uses the books required for his or her class.
Jeremy Frye, assistant store manager at the campus Barnes and Noble, said book costs are out of the store’s control. Instead, publishers set them.
Frye said popular textbook websites charge less because they need fewer employees in comparison to a bookstore.
“There’s more overhead to running a store than a warehouse,” Frye said.
Employees must be on hand to stock shelves correctly and help customers find what they’re looking for.
Another frustration students have is the inability to get what they paid for their books when returning them at the end of the semester.
Frye said the most cash a student can get back is 50 percent of what they originally paid.
“It’s based on whether we need the book still for next semester,” Frye said.
He said buy-back prices aren’t unique to this campus. They remain constant at all universities.
Caitlin Mazurek, exercise science junior, stopped using the bookstore partly because of the low buy-back prices.
She said she usually finds all required textbooks through Chegg.com.
“You can rent through them, and even their rental prices are usually lower than the bookstore prices,” Mazurek said.
Chegg.com plants a tree each time a customer rents books, which Mazurek thought was a major perk to using the website.
Social work sophomore Marissa Stec also uses Chegg.com.
Stec said she was impressed by how simple it was to exchange a book.
“It was so easy to just ship my book back, and they sent me the new one right away,” she said.
Stec said she saved more than $200 on books for winter semester by choosing to shop online rather than at the bookstore.
“I saved a lot of money, so I’m definitely using it again this year,” Stec said.
Other popular textbook websites include Amazon, Ebay, Half.com and cheapbooks.com.
Facebook groups recently became a location for students to sell books, as well.
If students do choose to buy textbooks through Barnes and Noble, there are methods to save money.
Although rentals are becoming the trend, Frye said buying used textbooks is the cheapest route.
He said students have first access to used books if they purchase through the bookstore’s website in advance.
The website also gives them a better chance of getting everything they need before the bookstore sells out and must place another order.