The average full-time student at a private four-year college spent $1,213 on textbooks and course materials for the 2011-12 academic year, a 3% increase from the previous year, according to The College Board, a nonprofit that tracks college costs.
But experts say college students can snap up all their required reading without sapping their Friday night funds. It may just take some planning and hustle. Less-expensive rental and e-book options have broadened. Apple, for example, launched its new e-textbooks platform in January, and the National Association of College Stores says all of its 3,000 member stores will have their own rental programs this semester, up from 1,500 in 2010. Either renting a title or getting it as an e-book could cut each textbook price in half — or better — as booksellers compete.
Kelli B. Grant of Smartmoney.com has several money saving tips for getting the best deals on your educational materials. If you don’t have excessive money to burn, READ HERE for how to save anywhere from 5% to 80% on your learning materials.