smart spending

Renting textbooks cuts down college costs

Whether you're a recent high school graduate or an adult hoping to pick up a new trade, attending college can -- and will -- put a major strain on your finances. Tuition, meal plans, housing and beer kegs can add up to a colossal chunk of change. Samantha Whitehurst, winner of this month's Frugal $ense contest, is empathetic to this and offers some thrifty advice regarding one of college's most tedious expenses: buying textbooks.

May's Frugal $ense Winner: Samantha Whitehurst
Samantha WhitehurstSamantha Whitehurst won $100 for submitting the following tip:

"As a full-time working adult who is returning to school, I have been thrilled to save tons of money by renting my college textbooks. You can find many sites online that provide this service, and most have free return shipping." -- Samantha Whitehurst of Washington, N.C.

Read more tips
Submit your tip

Bankrate.com: How did you get your idea?

Samantha Whitehurst: Ever since I've been back in school I've been trying to find ways to save money because tuition is going up through the roof. So I started looking around online, seeing if I could at least buy cheaper textbooks, and then I found that you can rent textbooks through a website called Chegg.com. I could rent the textbooks for like, 75 percent off of what I could buy them for. I don't need the textbooks after the class is over, so it was a huge savings.

Bankrate.com: Why have you returned to school?

Samantha Whitehurst: I decided to return to school because I'm looking to get into a new career. I do accounts receivable at a community college here in North Carolina, and I just really miss working with people. So I'm returning to school in hopes of pursuing a degree in human resources.

Bankrate.com: How long have you been renting textbooks?

Samantha Whitehurst: I've been back in school for a year now, and I've saved a ton of money. I compared the cost during my first semester, and the books were going to be about $300 altogether. I ended up getting all three books I needed for $75, so I saved $225 right there.

Bankrate.com: Is renting textbooks easy to do?

Samantha Whitehurst: The process is very easy. Just log on and look up the book using its ISBN number. They ship it to you within a week. When it's time to return it, they send you boxes or envelopes and let you print out labels so you can send it back for free through UPS.

Bankrate.com: Do you have any other frugal tips for college students?

Samantha Whitehurst: When you rent your textbooks online, they always ask if you have a promo code. I definitely recommend searching for one online. I love one site called Retailmenot.com. Just type in Chegg.com in the search box on the site, and it'll bring up promo codes such as 5 percent off of your rental or free shipping. Using promo codes can save you even more money.

 

advertisement

Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
REFINANCE HOME EQUITY AUTO CDs CREDIT CARDS
Product Rate Change Last week
30 year fixed refi 4.02%  0.15 4.17%
15 year fixed refi 3.10%  0.04 3.14%
10 year fixed refi 3.16%  0.01 3.15%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
30K FICO-based HELOC 4.32%  0.01 4.31%
50K FICO-based HELOC 4.06% --0.00 4.06%
100K FICO-based HELOC 3.92% --0.00 3.92%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
60 month used car loan 2.81% --0.00 2.81%
48 month used car loan 3.04% --0.00 3.04%
60 month new car loan 3.24% --0.00 3.24%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
1 Year CD 1.01%  0.03 0.98%
2 Year CD 1.20%  0.03 1.17%
5 Year CD 1.86%  0.00 1.86%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
Balance Transfer Cards 15.73%  0.02 15.75%
Cash Back Cards 16.43%  0.02 16.45%
Low Interest Cards 10.98%  0.02 10.96%
 
Next
advertisement
FRUGAL NEWSLETTER

Discover new ways to cut costs and save more every day. Reduce your spending, not life’s pleasures. Delivered weekly.

advertisement
Partner Center
advertisement

Connect with us