Author: Jordan Bruce

When Should I Buy My College Textbooks?

This is a question that is often asked by first-time college students. Being a new college student can be overwhelming and intimidating. On top of adjusting to a new environment and navigating campus is the task of buying textbooks. For most incoming freshmen, this is a completely new experience. One of the biggest stressors when it comes to buying textbooks for the first time is not knowing the right time to purchase. Many students are left wondering, “When is the best time to buy textbooks?”

When to Order Textbooks

There is no exact “right” time to buy college textbooks, which can make the process a little more confusing for first-time buyers. When starting the process of buying college textbooks, a good rule of thumb is to wait until all syllabi are received with all required course materials listed. 

Do You Have to Buy Textbooks Before Class Starts?

Unless you are required to complete an assignment or reading prior to the beginning of a course, it doesn’t hurt to wait until the first day of class to purchase textbooks. On the first day of class,  most instructors will confirm which materials are provided and if there are any additional items that are needed that might have been left off of the syllabus. Sometimes professors will provide digital copies of required readings that are listed in the syllabus so that students do not have to purchase the whole book.

If you’re still asking yourself the question “What books do I need for college?” after reading the syllabus and attending the first day of class, reach out to your instructor(s) and they will confirm what is needed for their course. It never hurts to double check with your instructor so you can be sure you are getting everything that is required for success in the course.

In addition to buying textbooks outright, college students also have the ability to rent most textbooks at a cheaper price; however, this concept can be a little bit confusing for someone who has never rented a textbook before.

How Does Renting Textbooks Work?

Renting textbooks is actually pretty similar to renting a DVD or sports equipment. Once you’re done with it or your rental period is over you simply return it to the seller. An important thing to remember when it comes to renting textbooks is that most sellers will expect that the book is returned to them in a timely manner and in fairly good condition.

How Much Does it Cost to Rent Textbooks?

It’s no secret that most college students will do whatever they can to save money. For some, renting textbooks is a great way to save some money on what can be a pretty costly expense. According to Robert Farrington, the founder of The College Investor, “Renting textbooks is such a great deal because you can typically save 70% to 90% compared to buying the book new, and 50% or more compared to buying the book used.” 

The College Board estimates that the average college student will spend $1,200 (at least) on textbooks per year. Renting textbooks whenever it is convenient for you will help you save some of that money in the long run. Aside from your college bookstore, there are several sites online that make it easy for you to rent textbooks at reduced prices.

Is Renting Textbooks a Good Idea?

Renting textbooks is a great option that will help you save some money; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option for everyone. Before diving head first into renting all your textbooks, it’s important to think about your individual learning style and if it’s compatible with renting textbooks.

Here are a few things to consider before renting your textbooks:

1. Your Learning Style

Everyone has their own study habits that fit their style of learning. While some students can read material and remember concepts with minimal note taking, others prefer to take notes and highlight important details. The disadvantage of renting a textbook is that some rental services limit how much can be written, marked, or highlighted in the book. It is also a possibility that some services will expect the book to be returned with no markings and in pretty good condition. 

If you are someone who likes to mark up a book or is hard on your textbooks, renting might not be the best option in the long run.

2. Long Term Use

While not every textbook you will use during college will be useful at a later date, it is a possibility that as you progress through your major course work you might need a book again. If you have a feeling that a certain book might be useful to you at a later date, it might be better to buy the book just in case.

3. Terms & Conditions of Rental Agreement

Before deciding to purchase your rentals, make sure to read all of the fine print and the terms and conditions of the rental agreement. In some cases, companies will charge late fees for rentals that are not returned on time. If you are not sure you will be able to return the book by the specified date, you should consider buying the book so you don’t have to worry about the extra late fees that can add up. Some companies might also charge for damages to the book, so if you are someone who tends to put a lot of wear and tear on a textbook it is worth it to consider buying the book. Most books you purchase can be sold back at the end of the semester.

Are Buying Books Worth It?

The price of textbooks is enough to make any college student wonder if it’s something they’ll actually need. Even if you don’t end up using your books a ton throughout the semester, it’s still worth it to have them handy just in case. Textbooks are an essential resource for many students and some assignments can’t be completed without them.

For more information on buying textbooks, check out our previous blog post about the Best Sites to Buy College Textbooks.

When it’s time to buy (or rent) your textbooks, eCampus.com has you covered. With 4.0 stars on Trustpilot, eCampus.com is the most trusted bookseller among the student community. You can save up to 90% on Textbook Rentals, Used & New Textbooks, and eTextbooks. eCampus.com also offers a great rewards program (eWards) that is designed to make it easier for students to save money by earning rewards and exclusive deals.

Be sure to connect with us @ecampusdotcom on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook for more resources, tips, and some great giveaways! And when it’s time for textbooks, eCampus.com has you covered for all your course material needs at savings up to 90%!

References

  1. https://www.cappex.com/articles/college-life/textbooks-rent-or-buy
  2. https://www.creditkarma.com/advice/i/save-on-college-textbooks#:~:text=%E2%80%9CRenting%20textbooks%20is%20such%20a,founder%20of%20The%20College%20Investor.
  3. https://money.com/college-textbooks-how-to-save-rent-lowest-prices/#:~:text=Rent%20Textbooks%20Instead%20of%20Buying%20Them&text=Renting%20can%20go%20a%20long,book%20costs%20%2437.49%20to%20rent.
  4. https://www.textbooksolutions.com/how-textbook-rentals-work.aspx#:~:text=When%20you%20rent%20a%20textbook,using%20a%20free%20shipping%20label!

How to Buy Textbooks for a College Student

With back to school season right around the corner, many parents of college students are finding themselves with long to-do lists and several new things to buy. This can be a stressful and expensive time for many parents and guardians as they prepare to send their students to campus. 

Every parent wants to make sure that their student has enough resources to help them succeed. One essential resource to the success of any college student is textbooks. However, if you are new to the textbook buying process, it can seem a little intimidating. 

When to Buy College Textbooks

A good rule of thumb to follow when purchasing textbooks is to wait until your student receives their syllabus with all outlined course materials. Unless a student is required to complete an assignment or reading prior to the beginning of a course, it is good to wait until the first day of class to purchase textbooks. This will allow students to confirm which materials are provided and if there are any additional items needed that aren’t on the syllabus. Sometimes professors will provide digital copies of required readings that are listed in the syllabus so that students do not have to purchase the whole book.

While there is no exact right time to purchase textbooks, it’s important to pay attention to assignment dates that might require the use of a textbook. Assignment due dates and course timelines should be listed in the syllabus. This is a  good reference to use when buying textbooks to make sure the purchased course materials  will arrive in time to complete outstanding assignments. 

Do Textbooks Come with Access Codes?

Over the last several years, digital learning and online course materials have gained a lot of popularity among college professors and departments. You may find that some of your student’s course materials require the purchase of an access code or an access code accompanies the physical textbook. An access code is like a password that students use to access course content online. The online content will depend on the course and to what extent the professor utilizes the online resources. The important thing to note is that an access code is not the same thing as a textbook.

If a student needs an access code for their course in addition to a textbook, here are a few thing to keep in mind:

  1. Not all textbooks come with access codes

When it’s time to buy a textbook and access code a student generally has a few options. They can either purchase a textbook that has an access code or they can purchase an access code separately. It is important to make sure that the textbook that is being purchased clearly states that it includes an access code.

  1. Used textbooks do not come with access codes

It is safe to assume that any access code that comes inside of a used textbook has already been used. Unless a student purchases a bundle that includes a used book and a separate access code, they will need to buy an individual access code.

  1. Some access codes can be bought online

In some cases, access codes or access to the course site can be bought directly online from the product or publisher website.

  1. Access codes don’t always last forever

The duration that an access code lasts can vary. Because of this, be sure your access code satisfies the duration that your student will need it. Typically, access codes last between 6-24 months.

  1. Most access codes can’t be returned

The unfortunate truth is that most access codes cannot be returned after they’re purchased.  It’s advisable to read the terms and conditions provided by the publisher of the access code to gain an understanding of their return policies. Once again, this gives another reason to ensure that your student requires the access code.

If a student is unsure if they need an access code for their course or not, it is always a good idea to double check with the instructor.

Searching For Textbooks: Do I Use ISBN 10 or 13?

A student’s syllabus typically contains the title of the book that is needed and the ISBN for that book. An International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a 10-digit or 13-digit number used to give every book its own identification label. You may be unsure of a book’s full title, author, or year published, but if you know its ISBN, you can be sure you’ve got the right book. The ISBN is a 10 or 13 digit number found on the back cover next to the barcode. Sometimes it can also be found near the copyright page by publisher information.

Where to Find Textbooks Online

The campus bookstore might seem like the most convenient place to buy textbooks, but did you know that you could save some serious money by purchasing textbooks online? There are tons of sites, including Amazon, that make it easy for you to purchase course materials online.

When purchasing textbooks online it’s important to make sure that you’re getting the best deal possible. It’s easy for a site to claim they’re giving you the best deal, so you might want to do some research before making a purchase.

Also Consider: Textbook Price Comparison Sites/Services

  • eCampus.com Marketplace: In addition to offering you great discounts on used, new, and rental items, we make it easy for you to compare prices from 70,000+ marketplace sellers! Just find the book you want and click “See Prices” next to the Marketplace option.
  • We also conducted thorough research and have come up with a list of our favorite textbook price comparison sites that can help you find the best deals on your textbooks. Simply search for the ISBN you’re looking for and these sites will scour the internet for the best prices available. Here are some of the the options that we found the most helpful:

For more information on buying textbooks online, check out our previous blog post about the best sites to buy college textbooks.

If you’re wondering where to buy cheap textbooks online, eCampus.com is always a great option. With 4.0 stars on Trustpilot, eCampus.com is the most trusted bookseller among the student community. You can save up to 90% on Textbook Rentals, Used & New Textbooks, and eTextbooks. eCampus.com also offers a great rewards program (eWards) that can make it easier for students to save money by earning rewards and exclusive deals.

Whenever it’s  time to start buying course materials for your college student, we hope that this has given you more information on the buying process. If you have other questions, our experienced team of customer service agents can help guide you through phone or chat. 

Be sure to connect with us @ecampusdotcom on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook for more resources, tips, and some great giveaways! And when it’s time for textbooks, eCampus.com has you covered for all your course material needs at savings up to 90%!

References

  1. https://blog.ecampus.com/best-sites-to-buy-college-textbooks/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-sites-to-buy-college-textbooks
  2. https://www.collegexpress.com/articles-and-advice/majors-and-academics/blog/essential-college-textbook-hacks/#:~:text=Generally%2C%20wait%20until%20you%20go,before%20buying%20all%20required%20readings.
  3. https://www.collegeparentcentral.com/2014/04/does-your-college-student-need-textbooks/
  4. https://help.pearsoncmg.com/rumba/mylab_mastering_self-reg/en-en/Content/mm_access_code.html
  5. https://www.lakelandcc.edu/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=a9a198c0-0779-4ad0-98b7-3b903d366262&groupId=427619&filename=access_code_faqs.pdf
  6. https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/01/why-students-are-still-spending-so-much-for-college-textbooks/551639/
  7. https://thecollegeinvestor.com/19838/buy-college-textbooks-online/
  8. https://webassign.com/support/student-support/access-codes/

Should College Athletes Be Paid?

One of the biggest questions surrounding the NCAA and college athletics in recent years has been whether or not college athletes should be paid. According to a survey conducted by College Pulse in 2019, over 50% of college students polled support compensating college athletes. With 460,000 athletes making a minimum $25,000 salary, this could easily cost over 11 billion dollars!

 A common misunderstanding surrounding college athletics is that athletes are already being paid.

Do College Athletes Get Paid?

Based on current NCAA rules, college athletes are unable to personally profit off of their name or likeness. This means that a college athlete cannot receive endorsement deals or sponsorships during their time as an NCAA athlete. The only money that college athletes are eligible to receive are scholarships and cost of attendance stipends from their university. The cost of attendance stipend was made legal by the NCAA in 2014 in order to allow universities to provide extra funding to student athletes to cover all tuition and attendance expenses. This ruling was made after several NCAA athletes mentioned that they would go to bed hungry because they did not have enough money to afford food.

Despite the fact that the NCAA has allowed athletes to receive extra funding, the question remains: Should college athletes be paid?

The Case for Paying College Athletes

 1. Being a Student Athlete is Like a Full-Time Job

It’s no secret that college athletes dedicate a good portion of their time to their sport. Whether it be training sessions, games, or media commitments, sources say that college athletes spend up to 40 hours a week (at least) on their sport. This is similar to working a full-time job while also attending classes and keeping up with school work. Since being an athlete requires quite a bit of time and energy, many athletes do not have time to work other jobs for money.

 2. Cost of Attending School Exceeds Scholarships

One of the biggest issues that college athletes face is finding the funds to pay for extra expenses. For quite a few athletes, the total cost of attending school exceeds the scholarship that they have been given. A large portion of student athletes come from low-income households meaning that it would be almost impossible to afford college without a scholarship. Since student athletes are limited in how they can be financially compensated during their collegiate career, many struggle to afford extra expenses that may arise.

3. Colleges and the NCAA Profit off of Athletes

Sports like college football and college basketball have become the financial backbone of many college athletic departments. In 2017, the NCAA grossed more than $970 million off of college athletics while student athletes received very minimal reimbursement. In 2014, the NCAA made it legal for schools in its Power 5 conferences (PAC-12, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and SEC) to give student athletes a stipend as compensation for their work. However, this rule was not mandatory and many athletes still struggle to make ends meet.

College Athletes Getting Paid: The Debate

The debate about student athletes getting paid has been fueled by comments from star athletes like LeBron James and Richard Sherman, as well as politicians like Bernie Sanders. Many of these individuals have expressed that it is crucial that the NCAA pay athletes because they are workers for their universities. 

Why College Athletes Should Not Be Paid

Despite the fact that there is a large number of people in favor of the NCAA paying athletes, there are quite a few individuals who still feel that college athletes should not be paid.

There are several points that have been made in support of the argument against paying college athletes. Many college and athletics administrators and NCAA officials have tried to argue that college athletics are about students playing other students. If college athletes were to be paid, that focus would shift to employees playing employees.

Additionally, there are several reasons why paying college athletes would cause disruption in the higher education system as a whole. A bill proposed to the California state legislature called the “Fair Pay to Play Act” would allow college athletes in California to make revenue off of their name and likeness. However, several NCAA officials have opposed this bill stating that it would allow California schools an unfair advantage. The president of the NCAA even suggested that schools who allowed athletes to benefit from this bill would be barred from competing in NCAA championships.

 At this given moment in time, the NCAA and higher education athletics departments would require a large restructuring within their organizations to monitor and regulate payment of athletes. The college sports landscape as a whole would require a complete restructuring to allow athletes to profit off of it. This is another reason why many are hesitant to move forward with regulations allowing student athletes to receive financial compensation beyond scholarships. Many feel that the consequences and hardships that might come from allowing this to happen would outweigh the potential benefits.

Why College Athletes Should be Paid

On the other side of the debate, many believe that college athletes should be paid because they should be allowed to profit off of their name and likeness. Advocates for the “Fair Pay to Play Act” and other initiatives in favor of paying college athletes suggest that while it might be a struggle initially, college athletes getting paid could be a legitimate enterprise. This enterprise could be used to benefit both college athletes and local businesses in college towns by allowing those athletes to receive promotions from businesses in exchange for endorsements.

 Think of it this way. What if an athlete like Joe Burrow – or any member of the LSU Championship team – could partner with a local restaurant in Baton Rouge in exchange for profit or free meals? Chances are the business would gain visibility and the athlete would also benefit from the exchange.

 Of course, paying college athletes would come with its own set of challenges, but many feel it’s time to correct the fundamental wrong that is profiting off of young athletes while preventing them from receiving any of that revenue. If fans are going to continue to enjoy college game days and expect top notch performances from college athletes, allowing college athletes to profit off of their name and likeness is something that will need to be considered. While the star football or basketball player may seem like a local celebrity, they’re still a young college student trying to make ends meet.

Be sure to connect with us @ecampusdotcom on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook for more resources, tips, and some great giveaways! And when it’s time for textbooks, eCampus.com has you covered for all your course material needs at savings up to 90%!

References:

  1. https://www.athleticbusiness.com/college/how-ncaa-athletes-are-spending-their-extra-stipends.html
  2. https://bleacherreport.com/articles/654808-pay-for-play-should-college-athletes-be-compensated
  3. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/11/student-athletes-should-get-paid-college-students-say.html
  4. https://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/18319#:~:text=A%20Salary%20Would%20Help%20Student-begin%20their%20adult%20life%20securely
  5. https://globalsportmatters.com/youth/2019/04/09/ncaa-says-amateurism-is-key-while-student-athletes-are-left-without-food/
  6. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/26/learning/should-college-athletes-be-paid.html
  7. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/29/ncaa-proposes-letting-college-athletes-get-paid-for-endorsements-220507
  8. https://www.si.com/college/2020/04/29/ncaa-name-image-likeness-rules-college-sports