Just after tuition, the price of textbooks can be a major financial burden for college students.
Some courses at Salt Lake Community College require textbooks that cost as low as $20. However, students often pay hundreds of dollars for the textbooks they need for core classes. Thankfully, students looking to cut costs have a few options.
“I usually go into the [SLCC] bookstore and rent a used book,” says Alaynabi Rizavi, a student attending classes at Taylorsville Redwood Campus.
Used textbooks are always in high demand and often in short supply. But textbook rentals can still greatly reduce the purchase price and serves as a practical alternative for students who only need the book for a semester.
Students can also skip the long lines and get their textbooks online. In addition to the college bookstore, students can use websites like Amazon and Chegg to browse for textbooks and compare prices. Most of these sites offer the same services as traditional stores.
Shipping can take little as two days and is free for members on sites like Amazon. Free book returns are often available for rentals, as long as the student sends the package before the cutoff date.
Off-campus bookstores like PJ’s College Books, located south of the Taylorsville Redwood Campus, are also open for business. According to store manager James Harding, PJ’s offers “deeper discounts and possess more information on textbooks required by the college.”
Students are encouraged to speak with their instructors and find out what textbooks may be required for the course. Most teachers are very flexible, and allow students to use an earlier version in order to save money.
Lastly, if students have no other option but to buy a new textbook, the SLCC Bookstore will buy back certain textbooks at a reduced price during finals week. PJ’s offers a similar program.
I also encourage students to buy from KSL. That’s pretty much the only way to keep that money in the local economy and (bonus!) help a fellow student out. PJ’s might seem local, but is owned by a large corporation. I don’t need to tell anyone how huge Amazon is (though they do allow you to cast a wider net for buying directly from other individuals if you can’t find the book on KSL). Since the SLCC bookstore employs mostly students, that’s a less direct way of supporting your classmates as well.
A person can sometimes find a used book from someone on KSL.com website — then go to books — then go to college books. Usually you can find a used book for $50 – $60
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