Textbooks can cost a small fortune. It seems that every year the required texts get heavier and the prices get higher. Students can easily pay between $700 and $1000 for books during a single year according to a study from the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. An undergraduate student may end up paying up to $4,000 on books before he or she receives a degree.  The majority of colleges online still require their students to purchase traditional textbooks with hefty price tags while ome online schools offer a virtual curriculum, free of charge. Books for one or two classes could total in the hundreds. However, showing a little shopping savvy could save you a significant amount of cash. The only thing that’s better than cheap is free. Take a look to see if you can find the material elsewhere before you even check the bookstore. There are dozens of virtual libraries that offer reference material and literature with no cost to the reader.  Hundreds of older pieces with expired copyrights are all over the internet while newer texts are unlikely to be online. Readers can even download the books for free and view them on their desktop or handheld device.


Find your textbooks for cheap

Check to see if the material is available here before forking over the cash in case our curriculum consists of an over-priced packet of photocopied articles. Another alternative is trying to find a student in your area who purchased the book during a previous semester.  You may ask students who have taken the course before if they would be willing to sell the book at a discounted price in case your online school has message boards or other means of communicating with your peers. Scouring the campus for flyers advertising student-sold books may be your ticket to saving a few dollars in case you are near a physical college campus that offers courses similar to your classes online. Find out what buildings house the departments that are likely to require your books before you begin a random search. Students often post advertisements on the walls of their old classrooms. Some students are able to find their required materials in the library. A local college may have the books available for limited use while your regular public library is unlikely to carry most traditional textbooks. The librarians probably won’t let you take the books with you since you are not a student there. But you may be able to use them for a couple hours each day in order to get your studying done in case he books are shelved. Make sure you get a good price in case you aren’t able to get your books for free.