College is already full of fees: technology fees, housing fees, student activities fees, and so on. You might discover what your books are going to cost might send you into cardiac arrest. Don’t get caught in that situation, there are other options and tools available to help you get the most of your investment
Affordable Learning Georgia (ALG)
The University System of Georgia (USG) created the ALG initiative to promote student success by providing affordable textbook alternatives. It is a one-stop service to help USG faculty and staff identify lower-cost, electronic, free, and open educational resources (OER), building on the cost-effective subscription resources provided by GALILEO and the USG libraries.
USG bookstores work with vendors to provide traditional print learning materials as well as e-textbook solutions. Eighty percent of the time, a student will buy from the bookstore, regardless of the price. Some tools available to students in bookstores include, textbook comparison software, pricing management software, renting options, digital options, and more.
Renting books is easy and cheap. Typically, you can save between 30% and 80% by renting vs. buying your books, depending on where you rent. All you have to do is go to a textbook rental website, put in ISBN numbers of books you need, and books are delivered to your door. When the semester is over, you get a pre-paid mailing slip and you send them back!
Textbook companies are moving to an electronic platform. With tablets becoming a normal purchase for college, there is no reason this could not be an option.
More and more online courses are moving to open textbooks for students, which means students use these books at no cost. The USG collaborative, eCore, recently announced that 12 of their courses for fall 2014 will be open text. Be sure when shopping, to ask your program if open textbooks are available. You can save hundreds of dollars if they are!
Before you go to the bookstore, be sure to shop around and be open to other options!