Colleges Are Now Required To List Textbooks During Class Registration

Finding the best textbooks prices just got a whole lot easier now that colleges are required to provide students with a list of required textbooks when they register for classes. The requirement was mandated back in the 2008 as part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, but only took effect this year.

Proponents say the law will give students more time to take advantage of textbook buy-back programs, book rentals and prices that are often lower online than in college bookstores. They expect it will also force professors to pay more attention to the cost of books they assign.

“Until this year, many schools didn’t give the book list until the week before classes, and you really had no choice but to head to the college bookstore,” says Christine Frietchen, editor in chief of ConsumerSearch.com.

The best way to find cheap books is to start hunting early. You’re not a unique snowflake, and there are plenty of other students scrounging for the deal you want. If you can resist the urge to highlight and doodle, consider a textbook rental service like Chegg. For everyone else, comparison shop just like you would for any other product. Grab your textbook’s ISBN and plug it into traditional sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and AbeBooks. Then, look for a better price through services like Half and CheapestTextBook. If you decide to buy used, carefully read both the product’s description and the seller’s reviews. Once you find a reasonable price, grab it before it disappears.

College students may get break on textbook expenses [USA Today]
20 U.S.C. § 1015b [U.S. Code]