Clayton Paramore, a music education major from Ozark who was a senior in the spring, saved more than $100 on a textbook when he shopped online.
“I went on Amazon and found the previous edition, which has the exact same chapters, the exact same page numbers,” Paramore said.
The current edition of the book for his Literacy 4 class was selling for $124, but Paramore got the previous edition for $6.75 on Amazon.com.
His experience shows that competitive shopping for books can save students money.
Paramore said he does purchase books on campus, but also uses Amazon.
“I usually try to find the cheapest price,” he said. “I usually go through Amazon if I can, and that helps.”
Russell Everett, a lecturer in art and design, said that most of his classes are hands-on and do not require textbooks. His visual arts class does require a textbook, and Everett said the edition does not matter to him.
Gwen Threadgill, lecturer in the School of Music, said textbooks are important.
Read it themselves
“If there’s something they missed from the instructor, they can read for themselves and learn it,” Threadgill said.
In her Music 3361 class, a previous edition of a book would work if needed.
However, in her piano classes, in previous editions the page numbers are different, as well as examples, and those editions would not work, Threadgill said.
Jennifer Burgess, a junior during spring semester who is a human services major from Enterprise, said she purchases all of her books from the Barnes and Noble store on campus.
“The only books I’ve bought online are the books I need for my voice lessons because they don’t have a lot of them on campus,” Burgess said.
She estimated that she spends $300 to $400 per semester on books with the help of financial aid.
One semester, Burgess’ financial aid was not complete when the semester began. She had to wait for her financial aid to be completed to buy books, which was a month into the semester.
No one was available for an interview in the university’s Financial Aid office or at Barnes and Noble.
With the Digital Age, the meaning of a book has changed. Students can now use traditional books, or buy e-books, which can be used on devices such as iPads, Nooks, Kindles and smartphones.
Barnes and Noble has a website at www
.troy.bncollege.com where students may purchase textbooks.
The website says renting a textbook will save about 50 percent of the cost of a new book. Students can do light writing and highlighting in a rented book. Digital downloads of textbooks are also available.
The website also details Barnes and Noble’s return policy. A student will receive a full refund if the book is returned with a receipt during the first week of class. If a student has proof of a schedule change, a full refund will be given within 30 days with a receipt. If a shrink-wrapped book is opened, it may not be returned.
At the end of each semester, the bookstore will buy back most textbooks from students.
Facebook has a group called “Troy University Textbooks” with more than 2,700 members. Students list books that they are selling, usually at reduced prices.
There are other online sources for purchasing textbooks. Search for “college textbooks online.”
Some professors put textbooks at the university library’s circulation desk, available for students to use inside the library.