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Archive | November, 2013

Where To Score Free Spanish Language Resources

Where To Score Free Spanish Language Resources

LearnSpanishLearning a new language is often challenging yet extremely fun and exciting as well. If you feel like you are stuck in a rut and you have become quite complacent with your life, you might want to try learning a new language just for the fun of it. One of the most common foreign language programs that most interested learners enroll in is Spanish. Spanish language courses are often offered in many colleges as an elective. If you are looking to have an additional skill in your repertoire then check out your school’s programs to learn how you can enroll. You just might realize that your skill in speaking an additional tongue might give you an edge when you start to look for jobs after you graduate.

What is the importance of learning how to speak Spanish?

Nearly 400 million people in the world use Spanish as their mother tongue. It is the official language in almost four continents so if you plan on doing a lot of traveling in the next few years, learning how to speak Spanish should be at the top of your list. When you travel to places like Mexico, Spain, Guatemala or any of the South American countries you will probably encounter people who speak quite good English. Being able to speak their language however, will make your travel more fun and you will get to communicate with them on a whole new level. A lot of the words in the English and Spanish  vocabulary have Latin roots. The more you study Spanish the better understanding you will have of your own native tongue especially when it comes to the use of correct grammar.

Where do you find free Spanish language resources?

If you are resourceful and creative you will find ways to learn Spanish on your own without having to shell out money. Here are some of the easiest, cheapest and fastest ways to learn the language:

1.) Check out the free elective courses in your college

Schools often offer short courses in different languages. While the more intensive programs will require you to pay a certain fee, you may also find that there are short courses, workshops and seminars that are offered by college organizations. Keep your eyes open for that especially at the start of a new semester.

2.) Visit your school library

You will find a dearth of tutorial books in your library that will help you get your feet wet in your quest to learn Spanish. If you do not want to end up disturbing other people when you are talking aloud and practicing the words, the best option is for you to rent the books out and learn the language in the sound proofed comforts of your dorm room.

3.) Befriend Spanish speaking schoolmates

This is probably the easiest and most effective way to learn the language. Spend time with people in your school or in your college organizations whose mother tongue is Spanish and ask them to help you get started with the basics by engaging in conversation with them. This way you get to learn a new language and make new friends.

4.) Utilize the Internet

The internet is your friend when it comes to learning new information on just about anything. If you want to learn Spanish the following website is a reliable source of basic training and introduction to the language:

Spanish Resources

This is the most comprehensive and probably the most beginner-friendly website available. This website offers you different modules and structured learning programs to help you get started. Start with the beginner level which will introduce you to basic conversational Spanish then work your way up to the advance level until you become almost fluent in the language.

To get the most out of Spanish language learning, students should utilize a combination of these resources, as well as take any and every opportunity to listen, speak, read, and think in the new language.

About the Author:

Today’s guest article comes from Ryan Ayers. He is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to education. In this article, he describes where to find free Spanish resources and how to easily improve language skills.

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Should You Let Finances Drive Your College Decision?

Should You Let Finances Drive Your College Decision?

collegemoneyThere is a longstanding belief that you should not let financial motives dictate your decision of where to attend school. Traditional thought suggests that more expensive institutions result in better paying jobs, thus negating the added initial costs. Further still, people believe that you should not compromise your college experience just to save money; after all, you’ve got the rest of your life to pay off the debt and going to your dream school is more important than saving money, right?

According to some, the answer to that is a resounding “no.” With the job market drying up for college graduates, post-graduation life is less secure than it once was, drawing into question the traditional beliefs about post-secondary education. In addition, a changing job market focused on technology is widening the gap in value between certain degrees, meaning some students are facing the reality that a pricey diploma may not result in the same competitive salaries seen by their peers. Suddenly, financial concerns are a factor that the majority of college-bound students are beginning to take into consideration when determining where (and when) to continue their education. The thought of letting finances drive a college decision, however, is leaving some students worrying that money may be keeping them from pursuing the educational and career path they have always wanted.

Rising College Costs Change Decision-Making Process for Students and Families

Perhaps the focus of the argument in favor of prioritizing fiscal considerations when making a college decision has to do with the rising cost of college. The cost of tuition in the United States has risen by an astounding 1,124 percent since 1978, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek and the Department of Labor. Most students are turning to loans to pay for school. According to the New York Times, students are borrowing about $113 billion per year to attend college, and total student debt topped $1 trillion in 2013. To make matters worse, even as the nation continues to recover from a recession, college graduates are still entering a tough job market.

While many will make the case that you shouldn’t go into extra debt just to go to a great school, many more will make the case that you shouldn’t go into any debt to seek higher education at all.

Author and pundit William J. Bennett warns young people that college is a big financial decision; one that, much like a car loan or mortgage, shouldn’t be taken lightly. Says Bennett, “[Americans] shouldn’t automatically or reflexively send their kids to college… it’s a big decision. There are a lot of consequences, a lot of costs, a lot of ups and downs. Investigate it with your eyes open.”

Bennett goes on to point out that a college education no longer guarantees you a job over someone without a diploma. While costs shouldn’t necessarily deter a student from pursuing a degree, Bennett urges students to carefully consider their options. A two year degree may be a more affordable and rewarding option for some students, while others may want to look to where they can cut costs at the schools they decide to attend (attending college in-state, for instance, or choosing less expensive housing a meal options).

The thought process behind encouraging students to consider finances when making a decision has to do with the ultimate financial reward. Choosing a less-expensive school means less debt, and if you graduate in less debt then chances are you will have greater freedom post-graduation.


Will Money Keep You From Pursuing Your Dream?

There’s certainly a debate over whether or not a college degree is a significant advantage in the job market these days. Yet there’s still a reason you’re going to college—and there’s still a reason that you’re considering multiple institutions, and have certain colleges penned in as dream schools. Those reasons can transcend financial situations from time to time.

If you’re interested in college for more reasons than just future employment, you should think twice before letting finances decide for you. College is a place where you will make lifelong friends, develop new hobbies and interests, and do things you never thought you would. It’s an invaluable experience, and one that should not always be compromised.

Furthermore, a good school (or a school specializing in your interest) will give you a more focused, in-depth education. That means that, even if you graduate with a little more debt, you’ll have a better chance of thriving in your job or moving up to a higher level than you would have otherwise had.

Despite the threat of debt, data still supports the idea that a college degree leads to increased lifetime earnings, on average, compared with a high school diploma or less. According to the New York Times data from Brookings, “a college graduate is nearly 20 percentage points more likely to be employed than someone with a high school diploma,” and the increase in lifetime earnings with a diploma is 75 percent higher than it was 30 years ago. The expected annual salary for a high-school grad with no degree is expected to be $28,659; meanwhile the expected salary for a college graduate with a bachelor’s is $49,000 and the expected salary for those with an advanced degree is around $87,000.

Solutions and Compromise

Students shouldn’t feel as though there is one “right” option when it comes to college. In light of a tough economy and rising student loan debt, some students are choosing to go to a vocational school or community college, rather than a traditional university. The job market for mid-level workers is still growing steadily, and these types of schools are great options for students who aren’t sure whether or not they want to go to a university, or who are not comfortable with taking out loans.

However, if you want to go to a four year university or a school with high tuition, but feel the need to let financial considerations play a role, don’t panic: you can find a compromise by cutting costs elsewhere and searching for scholarships. If you pick up a part time job during the school year—or a full time job over summer and winter breaks—you can help to both save money and build your network and resume.

Ultimately, if you’re considering whether or not college is the right choice for you the current state of student loan debt and the economy should make you carefully weigh your options. It should make you seek out as much financial aid as possible, consider the pros and cons of in-state or public colleges versus private universities, look for plenty of experience or work, and contemplate your return on investment. Being financially-minded and savvy in the face of potential student loan debt is smart—but compromising doesn’t have to mean giving up on your dreams.

About the Author:

Today’s guest article comes from  Chad Fisher. Always interested in the state of the economy, he has been closely following developing stories on student loan debt. He knows college can be an especially risky investment for students majoring in humanities fields, like English or Education majors. However, by reading up on tips to land a teaching position, these students can find a career that offers both a competitive salary and the reward of reaching a goal.

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Buying Presents for Your Folks on a College Budget? Check Out These Ideas!

Buying Presents for Your Folks on a College Budget? Check Out These Ideas!

Broke GuyWith the holidays upon us, gift giving is a daunting challenge for cash-starved students. High tuition costs (A rise of 42 percent in the past decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau), small student incomes and minimal free time leave students with limited gifting options. The ideas below highlight some ways to save money in this rough time.

Battery Charging Case

You know mom may not be best with technology, and her clumsiness has led to a cracked, beaten, and broken phone on more than one occasion. A battery charging case accomplishes a few things in one motion. If you can not reach your mom because her phone died, she will not have absolutely no excuse with this gift. The device protects the phone while also charging it periodically. The case needs to be charged itself, but not nearly as often. The Kate Spade battery charge case is unique and adorable, and fits mom’s personality while also making sure she is reachable. The pack is available online for $120.


The Macy’s online store offers an eclectic blend of fragrances and perfumes for the season. There is also a thematic tie-in available here, allowing you to grab perfume for mom and cologne for dad. Even better, Cyber Monday offers perfume and other beauty products in gift bundle prices. A Burbery fragrance set ($40) has free shipping, and Rihanna’s Reb’l Fleur fragrance and gift set ($59) is more than affordable this season.

Power Trekk

Mom and dad could also use the PowerTrekk solar station. The device functions with just a single tablespoon of water. It charges any electronic device with a USB attachment, including cameras, smart phones, or iPads, confirms It is a bit pricier than what you may prefer, at $200, but consider this: the charger can be a gift for both mom and dad. It has an obvious function, it is unique, and it allows you to bundle one gift as two.

Hand-made Gifts

Making something is touching and rather cheap. But a lack of creativity or time gets in the way. This is where baked goods come in. Mother Nature Network recommends banana bread, nut bread, or just plain old cookies. They are rather easy to make, and you can match them with a clever container. Add ribbons, glitter, and cool little crafts to make the container look splendid. And these crafts can all be found at the dollar store.

Parents who love coffee could get a large coffee mug, and you can decorate it or place little chocolate bars inside. The gift does not need to be hand-made from scratch. Buy something cheap, such as the aforementioned mug, jar, or flower pot, and decorate it accordingly.

Peanut Butter Cup Collections

MarketWatch details that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup sales increased more than 10 percent in the last ten years. The candy is a seasonal staple, and Peanut Butter & Co recommends the Peanut Butter Company Collection. It features dark chocolate, traditional, white chocolate, and chocolate interior styles in a cohesive and pretty little purple box. The box is a winner at $15.

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Student Loan Repayment 101 (video)

If you graduated from college this last Spring, chances are you will be getting some loan repayment notifications in the mail if you have not already. Most student loan programs require students to start making payments 6 months after graduation. The hope is that you have put your new education to good use and are now gainfully employed and better prepared to start making payments on your college loans.

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Getting Home Without Going Broke – Student Travel Hacks

Getting Home Without Going Broke – Student Travel Hacks

airplaneIt’s hard enough to be away from home, and even more difficult to not be able to visit loved ones because of the financial burden of getting there.

We feel your pain. It’s hard without your folks’ help, isn’t it? But rest assured you CAN make it home without hitchhiking there! We’re here to provide you with the tools you need to SAVE money on your trip home.

1) Before you go, visit your favorite stores for supplies (and presents for mom or your high school crush) with your student ID. Some stores don’t even advertise savings for students so speak up and ask. You never know when you might stumble upon a sweet deal.

2) Say goodbye to flight-booking woes!

  • Don’t procrastinate. Plan a head, but not too far out. Our sweet spot is three weeks to four months before takeoff.
  • Sign up for emails from travel sites or airlines to get the inside scoop on exclusive fares and flash sales.
  • Flexible? Travel on the holiday, rather than before or after it.
  • Weekend travel is pricy! Fly on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, stay during the week and leave before the weekend.
  • Check airfares from airports in the area to uncover hidden deals. For example, setting your departure point as “New York” (instead of “JFK”) for deals from all surrounding airports.
  • Think you’ve found a cheap flight? Double check. Call and ask about “unpublished deals” – they might be cheaper than what you’ve found on the web.
  • Research airline fees: carry-on bags, ticket changes, blankets and pillows, pets, in-flight food, and beverages.  Added tip – You can save money on purchasing food at the airport by making a snack and bringing it along for the ride. (might be tastier too!)

3) A few pre-booking tidbits:

  • Schedule your trip during off-peak travel times if you can.  Flights to Europe are more affordable in winter, fares to Florida or the Caribbean dip in summer, and New York City fares are best in spring.
  • Only use a carry-on bag – it’ll save you time and money, and you CAN do laundry while you’re away.
  • Beware the phony “student package.” Ever come across a deal that looks too good to be true? Check for reviews from happy travelers. Don’t see anything good? Don’t buy into it.
  • Plot how you’ll get to the airport. Don’t leave too late and miss your flight! Check with friends who have a car, see if there’s a shuttle or bus, and get there on time, for less. Many cities have an air train or public transport that takes you directly to the airport, and they are affordable alternatives to taking a taxi.

4)  While you’re home, you don’t have to stay in to save.

  • Always check in on Yelp or Foursquare to take advantage of special offers.
  • Going international? Put your phone on airplane mode unless you’re in a Wi-Fi area. Or don’t and get stuck with charges, costly calls, and texts.
  • If you have some time, take a day trip to an affordable city nearby. Check out Nashville or San Antonio in the South. Visit Salt Lake City on the West Coast. Explore Providence or Pittsburgh on the East Coast.
  • Bored around the house? Get out and explore the attractions in your area – they might offer free admission at certain times and days. Some theaters have student discounts too.

Making the trip home isn’t as tricky or expensive as you thought. Fortunately for you, broke student, it IS possible to travel without feeling the sting of buyer’s remorse. So what are you waiting for? Happy and Safe Travels!

About the Author:

Today’s guest article comes from Rachel Smith. She is a writer for CheapOair, a company that specializes in low air fares and accommodations. In this article, she offers tips to students traveling home for break on how to save money on the trip. To book your cheap flight, visit CheapOair today.

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Opportunity Knocks: 5 Benefits of Attending Your College’s Career Fair

Opportunity Knocks: 5 Benefits of Attending Your College’s Career Fair

CareerYou’ve received fifteen emails about it from the university career center. You’ve also seen dozens of tables being set up, and you’ve had to dodge the handouts being shoved in your face from the event’s organizers. There’s no avoiding it; the career fair is here. You’ll probably have some classmates who are prepping for it, but you don’t really see its appeal. But here are five reasons why you should give the career fair a shot.

Job and Internship Opportunities

Let’s start with the primary reason college students attend career fairs in the first place: jobs. You’ll be speaking with recruiters whose primary roles are to find the future employees of their companies. Understandably, the competition is fierce. The attendees compete with each other to make great first impressions and wow the recruiters, and the recruiters compete with each other to snag the best new talent.

The first rule is to come prepared. Dust off your formal business suit, print multiple copies of your most up-to-date resume, wear your best smile, and shake some hands. Do preliminary research on the companies that will be there, and make a plan of which tables will be your top priorities to visit. Create talking points relevant to each one, and try to engage the companies’ recruiters in a conversation. After they go back to their offices to sift through the resumes they received, they’ll try putting faces to the names. If you left a good impression, they’ll remember the interaction, and you’ll stand a higher chance of getting callbacks from potential employers.

Immediate Networking Opportunities

The older you get, the more truth you’ll find in the saying, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” Putting your name out there, and a positive image of yourself, is essential. Not only will you be developing your own network of contacts, but you’ll also be interacting with real-world professionals who have well-established, extensive networks of their own. Even if you’re not the right fit for their company, they can put you in contact with the right people or point you in the right direction.

Don’t forget about the attendees like yourself as well. These are your peers, and chances are they’re interested in many of the same careers you are considering. Talk to them and incorporate them into your network. They could be your potential business partners.

Resume Feedback from the Professionals

Professional recruiters look at thousands of resumes, and they only spend about six seconds gauging each one, according to a 2012 study by TheLadders. When you hand your resume to a recruiter at the career fair, don’t be too shy to ask for a quick assessment of it. They can let you know what works and what doesn’t, what you can cut and what to emphasize. This information is invaluable; many people resort to paying professional resume writers, but at a career fair, you can get quick advice from the authorities on resumes for free!

Insight to Different Industries

Maybe you’re unsure of what kind of career you’d like to pursue. A career fair can help you gain valuable insight and a preview into the various industries you are possibly interested in, all conveniently located in one place. Speak to the professionals at the career fair. Come with questions about what they do.

What’s a typical day for them? What’s the company culture like? What do they like most about working there? Tell them what you’re most interested in, and they can tell you where you’d fit. You’ll learn from the insiders’ perspectives what it’s like to work in their respective fields, which can help you decide which direction you might want to go in for your future career.

Future Networking Opportunities

The power of networking can never be emphasized enough. Take every chance available to you to network. To this end, you can use a career fair to find out where and when the recruiters will be convening again. Make plans to attend if the representatives will be coming to your school or to an area nearby.

If you’re interested in going into the finance industry, for example, you could ask where the Fisher Investments upcoming events will be. Chances are you’ll find even more companies related to the same industry that you can network with. Do not underestimate where networking can take you. It can make all the difference between having to settle for the time being or landing your dream job.

Armed with this knowledge, don’t be intimidated at the prospect of immersing yourself in the career fair experience. Career fairs typically come to campus a few times per year, depending on your university. It’s also important to keep in mind that it’s never too early for you to start attending. Whether you’re a college freshman or a senior, you only stand to gain from a visit to the career fair. Best of luck!

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How To Score The Best Job During Your College Years!

How To Score The Best Job During Your College Years!

gotjobsIf you are not just looking to make money while in college, but also want the jobs you take on to give you some experience to put on your resume, then this article is for you. The whole point of going to college is to get the education you need to get hired for the job you want. However, getting the right job doesn’t have to start after graduation. If you need to work while in college, you mine as well get jobs that will further your career and look great on your resume. We have some tips on how to get hired in your industry and some ideas for the best jobs for college students.

How to Get Hired in Your Industry

Getting hired for a job that will look great on your resume and further your career is obtainable, even if you are in college and have little or no experience. How can you do this?

1.       Make yourself look good on paper.  Show all relevant accolades from high school and college on your resume. Include volunteer work, internships, awards, scholarships, and anything that you are proud of academically or socially to show your worth.

2.       Make yourself look good on social media. Take care in what you post on your social profiles and make sure that you come off as a professional that a company would want to hire. This includes your Facebook page. Take down or lock down images that are personal and especially leave off any clues about partying in college.

3.       Interview well.  Study up on how to interview well and follow all the tips that are provided on how to perform well at an interview. One sure fire way to gain an advantage in an interview situation is to do some research about the company ahead of time. How do the employees dress? What other clues can you find about the way they do business?

4.       Show your willingness to go above and beyond. During your interview process, show your eagerness and willingness to adapt, learn, and fit in to the corporate culture of the company you are applying to work for. This is where doing your research about a company can also come in handy. Look them up on social media ahead of time, follow them on LinkedIn. See what they write about and what the company is up to according to their profiles.

5.       Make local LinkedIn connections. Search for individuals and businesses in your area and ask to connect. Look for local LinkedIn groups for interns or companies that are hiring.

Ideas for the Best Jobs for College Students

When you start your job search, where should you look? Instead of taking on any old job working at a restaurant or type of job unrelated to the field you want to go in try to get jobs that will look good on your resume and give you that much needed experience.

1.       Tap the LinkedIn connections you have made. Search the groups and send messages to contacts letting them know you are looking for work. If you are polite and courteous, you will find that people are very helpful.

2.       Look for opportunities where you can gain experience. Volunteering, speaking to other students, or starting a blog all can establish yourself as an authority on the topics in your area of expertise.

3.       Check with your school job placement department. Your school’s job placement department is not just there to place students in positions after they graduate.  You can contact them at any time for job placement assistance.

4.       Call local businesses. It never hurts to ask. Call local businesses in your field and ask if they are hiring or offering internships. Even if they say they are not, ask if you can still give them your resume. You can then mail or bring in a copy of your resume dressed in appropriate business attire. It will make a great impression.

5.       Start your own business. There is no better experience than your own. Establishing your own company is a great experience and could be the beginning of a beautiful entrepreneurship!

About the Author:

Today’s guest article comes from Josh Ferrell. He is a blogger and Brand Manager for He enjoys writing about career and college topics.

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3 Quick Tips For Saving On Textbooks!

3 Quick Tips For Saving On Textbooks!

textbooksToday’s guest article comes from Claire Kyle.

Stocking up for college is both exciting and intimidating. You want to express yourself with pretty cushions, or a games chair, or unusual artwork, and you are starting out your adult life, which must mean you need an ironing board and coffee machine, right? Wrong. Firstly, you do not have to spend a fortune to express yourself: when it comes to impressing your dorm-mates and feeling at home in your dorm-room decor, Target, Ikea and thrift stores made a pretty formidable team, and will not break the bank. Secondly, it is a common mistake to think you will start ironing your own clothes when you get to college – and anyway, you will find that plenty of people have brought an iron with them, should you ever need one in a hurry. You probably don’t even need a second set of bedding, as washing laundry only takes a couple of hours (or you could always wait until you’re back at mom and dad’s). Buying your textbooks requires a similar approach, so don’t feel daunted by the campus bookstore’s price tag on your reading list. Here are some suggestions for saving money on textbooks.

Avoid the Campus Bookstore

According to the Students Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGS), the average student spends $1200 on textbooks a year. With this often unexpected cost sitting alongside heftier expenses such as tuition and rent, it is no wonder that students are getting creative in handling their personal finances at college, building up a positive credit history with low APR cards and taking out loans. However, there are also plenty of ways you can ease the financial burden of reading lists. The first, unfortunately, is to recognize when your college is trying to sell you short. Colleges need to make money too, and selling textbooks at a high price is an easy way for them to do so, as it is usually the most convenient way for students to purchase all their textbooks in one place. New textbooks from campus stores will cost you the full recommended retail price, and even used textbooks do not offer much of a discount. Buying used books online, at or at, will allow you to shave hundreds of dollars off your annual book expenditure.

Don’t be too worried about finding the specified edition– the newest versions are always the most expensive, and if a professor urgently requires you to have a specific edition then they will say so on the syllabus. Usually the edition specified by your professor is merely for simplicity, so that the page numbers match up when the book is referenced in class – in reality, you will find that plenty of classmates have different versions. If it is a textbook that is only needed for a few weeks then having an older edition should be no problem, and could potentially save you a lot of money. It is also worth popping into thrift stores and checking out the books section from time to time – a surprising amount of political science and literature giants can be found in Goodwill and the like, for just a couple of dollars.

Consider Different Formats

One way to get your textbooks for free or at a heavily discounted price is by downloading them onto your laptop, phone, tablet or Kindle. For subjects such as philosophy, political science or literature, where you are often assigned historical and classic texts, this can save you a great deal of money, as many of the books that are old enough to be out of copyright are available for free – just search in the App Store for free books to get you started. A Kindle app is available for most smartphones, and Amazon usually charges under a dollar for e-books out of copyright. Project Gutenberg is leading the way in making more out-of-copyright books free. Two words of warning when it comes to e-books: firstly, some professors do not like electronic devices being used in their classroom, and prefer for students to have hard copies; secondly, if you are someone who likes to annotate or highlight what you are reading, you will find this option a little frustrating! There are ways to highlight and write notes over electronic works, but for some of you this will just not be the same. Still, for fairly short reading assignments or for recommended extra reading, especially when it comes to literature, being aware of the free options is very useful.

Beg and Borrow!

Making friends with people who have already taken the classes you need is always a good idea, as they might be willing to lend their books to you, or sell them on cheaply. If you don’t know anybody in the class, then perhaps there is a book exchange on campus that you could take advantage of – your students union or advisor will able to help you with this. If there isn’t, then put up a flyer on the department noticeboard stating your interest in buying used textbooks for your classes – who knows, maybe you could set up a book exchange on your campus.

Many people assume that the few copies of required textbooks in the campus library are already taken out, but often they are not. It is worth checking, and if you are organized enough to get them out a term in advance then you could save yourself a lot of money this way. Just be sure to keep an eye on their due dates, as library fines are an expense no-one wants. Finally, don’t forget to ask family members and older friends if they have any of the books you need (again, this has a higher chance of success in subjects such as political science, history and literature).

Depending upon your major, you will find yourself using one strategy more than others; you will also discover the vast array of websites where you can download your readings for free. What’s important is to talk to your fellow classmates and your professors –more professors are putting their required readings up online these days, too. If enough people seek alternatives to their campus bookstores, colleges will be forced to make textbooks more affordable for their students.

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