Textbook tips for the cash-strapped student

The only thing worse than sitting in a hot lecture hall while it still feels like summer outside is wheeling and dealing to get the best textbook deals. It might be especially hard to scramble to get them for a last minute assignment now that the GW bookstore moved to online-only.

Luckily, we’ve got the best tips for getting your stacks ready for the upcoming semester.

“Required” can be a recommendation
Once syllabi start flooding your inbox, you might be overwhelmed by the number and price of the books you need. But the books might be unnecessary. For some classes, if you attend every class and take thorough notes, you might not need to do the readings. Carefully look through the syllabus to see how much of the book you’ll need to read. If it’s only a chapter, then take a quick photo from a classmate’s book. If you’ll only need a book for a few assignments, sharing may be the best solution. You and a friend can share a textbook and complete assignments together, or switch off as you work on other coursework. Asking other students who have taken the same course with the same professor can also be a good way to figure out what you need and what you can leave on the shelf.

The early bird might not get the worm
Buying textbooks in advance can give you enough time to find the right book for the best price and get a head start on reading before all of your classes get busy. But if your schedule isn’t perfect yet and you intend to change it, save yourself from getting stuck with books for a class you might drop. Additionally, as students return to campus, they tend to find all the books they packed away after an exhausting spring semester. That could mean cheap, used books for you on sites like Chegg or Amazon.

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