Google+ Mommy Moments with Abby: College is expensive!

Monday, April 9, 2012

College is expensive!

My kids are 1 and 2 and my husband and I are already talking about setting up collage fund accounts, looking at regular savings versus 529 plans, and how we can teach them to live frugal without missing out on life.  One way you can save if you have older collage bound kids is by being smart about their collage books.  Did you know that is typically costs around 400 for one semester of introductory level courses and can get as high as 3200 depending on your students major?

An example is the Environtmental Science: A Global Concern by William Cunningham and Mary Cunningham will cost you around $104.00 in the student bookstore new.  That is a lot for one book.  If your kid knows older kids who have taken the class and didn't sell their book they might be able to borrow it, they can buy used and save a few, or you can try another route and rent the book for only $40 for the semester.  Unless the book is one your child is going to need to revisit during their work experience after school many of the books that they use will end up either collecting dust on a shelf if they are unable to sell it or getting returned once the rental agreement is done.  The shipping on rentals is free so the semester cost isn't going to get run up to the cost of a just buying the book which I appreciate.

There are other ways you can have your college kid save on books, the library. No, not just their school library, have them get a card to the local library in the city of the school they are in, often the schools library will get some of the more popular text or resource books checked out and when that happens the best thing for your student is to get online and see if it's at the city library and check it out there.  This avoids the extra cost of the "recommended" reading that some teachers add on without the book being on the syllabus, but somehow being part of 50% of their lectures.  It also helps when it comes time for them to write research papers and all the students are looking for the same books to put in their paper.

Finally, get footnote copies of books to save not only on your cost, but on the time spent on reading.  Often, the footnotes give enough of an outline for a general paper, not so much a speech or dissertation on the structure or flow of the book, but most papers are general outlines and topic focused which footnotes work great.  If the student likes the footnotes, then you can splurge and get them a good copy of the book as a good grade treat for them to read on break! Or for under the tree (bonus on the Christmas Gift Idea!)

So, what brought all this talk of saving on text books about.  Well, I was inspired by a seriously ridiculous ad that I saw and thought, hey this is a good idea and I should blog about how to save on text books!  I also wanted an excuse to share this ridiculous ad which otherwise wouldn't have fit the content of my blog (watch the sound if you are at work)    

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