As a current MBA student, I can attest to the expenses of pursuing higher education. In addition to the expenses of school, extra-curricular activities, family matters, medical concerns, and transportation are just a few of the other things that drain the checkbook. Having multiple students in a home can also be particularly trying, especially if one parent is bearing all or most of the financial responsibility. Cutting costs where possible is definitely necessary for most families, especially in today’s economy. One great way to cut the rising costs of a college education which is gaining popularity is renting textbooks instead of buying them.
Students have several options when it comes to their textbooks at the college and graduate levels of education. In the past, buying new and used texts has been the most common way of acquiring the necessary resources for classes. New technology and advancements in business have opened the door to other options. These are e-book downloads and renting textbooks.
While not all texts are available as an e-book download, downloading a text is a great way to cut costs in education. Typically the e-book download version of a textbook is the cheapest form that is available, when it is offered. The catch is, downloading a book and viewing it on your Kindle (for instance) limits the ease of browsing through the book. How often does the average student recall the formatting or graphics on a specific page that they need to find, but otherwise have no clue where that page may in their text? In the downloaded e-book, users would have to search by keywords or using the index. Having the physical book, however, gives the student a level of accessibility that e-books do not offer.
Renting texts is the next most economical option. Students who are in accelerated learning classes will be happy to hear that the shorter the timeframe of the rental, the cheaper the rental fees. Extending renting periods is also possible too, as well as deciding to purchase a book after renting it and deeming it too valuable to be without.
There are a growing number of websites which offer text rentals at the college level. These sites rent out both used and new versions of the books, and often do not restrict highlighting or writing in the books, so long as extensive damage is not done. Some websites offer free shipping both ways as well, adding to the convenience of the service.
Continuing education is not an inexpensive proposition by any means. Relying on grants, loans, and scholarships are great ways to reduce the financial burden, or at least delay it a while. Making smart decisions when it comes to textbooks by downloading e-books or renting them can further reduce the financial impact that higher education can impose. Stay smart while getting smart and keep money available for other needs during the learning process.