Monday, August 10, 2009

Rent a Planted Tree (or) College Help

As you know, I usually try to write about subjects most of my readers can relate to, or at least understand on some basic level, as they consider my highfalutin histrionics, my enigma of experience, and my profundity of complete poppycock. However, today, I diverge.

Today I speak as the mother of a young adult bound for college. I speak as one who has taken a 2x4 to the pre-frontal cortex in the area of college textbooks. I am speechless about how much they cost. I'm sure you didn't notice. Let me go on.

I have decided to forego the current book I'm writing and write a textbook instead. It will be about something completely insipid and basically irrelevant to the human race and will be a requirement for a college class. This will drive the cost up exorbitantly and I will publish it myself. I will charge $300 per book. Very shortly, I will be living large and inviting you all to come visit me at my beach home in the Cayman Islands. But until that time we need these:




Now, I am NOT ungrateful that our dear Bo has received a college scholarship. This includes her tuition for four years, housing, parking, and office privileges. So what are you whining about, you might opine? Whatever I can find, I might say. In fact, do say.

We are Suburban Survivalists. We have existed on one income for sixteen years so I could be with the kids and homeschool them. It was our choice. I have zero regrets. But it did not leave us at the front of the line for financial resources. I looked both my children in the eye in sixth grade and said, "You will go to college. Here's how: scholarship. Get busy." Obviously, nothing is a sure thing and I am open to God trimming our sails for a different direction. But if all things are equal, and they never are, then that was and is the plan. However, I seemed to forget about that little part not covered: Textbooks.

Apparently, I fell into a deep slumber about this financial blow until three days ago when I woke up screaming, "We've got to order all your textbooks!" Bo started shopping online and hunting for every deal. And boy, did we get deals. We took our costs down from about $800 to $325.00. That's worth telling SOMEbody about. Maybe you. Most of us probably aren't living the high-life right now with the economy and if you can save a little bread, you just might have some to eat. So here's what we did: we bought as few books as we could and we rented the rest.

You're probably all brilliant and already know this can be done but we didn't. It's PERFECT. You use the books for four months and ship them back. Do ANY of us EVER look at old college textbooks we got stuck with because they changed editions and the bookstore wouldn't buy them back? They become paperweights, dust collectors, and thrift shop donations. And here's a huge bonus: one of the companies, Chegg, plants a tree for every book you rent. We are tree LOVERS so this was a big, green yahoo from us.

So here are your links if you're looking for less expensive options than the college bookstore.

To buy, check out:

Half.Com at www.half.ebay.com/


We have used both these companies with good results when Bo took college classes in high school.

Others are:


But for RENTING, you can't beat Chegg at www.chegg.com/ and remember, they plant a tree for each book rented. You probably need to know that their prices go up as the start of school draws closer so you don't want to wait. We waited one day and the price went up $3.00 per book. We placed the order last Friday.

Happy shopping to you or someone you know who might need this info.


Copyright 2009

32 comments:

  1. "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"...sending my son straight to these sights. Just in time, cause he has to order his books for this semester, by the end of the week.

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  2. That is CRAZY! Now I see the reasoning for wanting to use a Kindle, even the expensive one would save you tons of money. College costs are just nuts.

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  3. Ha. Um, been there! I hear that the books (and some of the professors) don't have to be factually accurate either! Textbooks, it's a racket.

    I talked to my daughter about Kindle, but she is a book girl. She has a list of reasons, none of which I can remember at the moment. Possibly highlighters, notes in the margins and post-its.

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  4. Robynn,
    It was such a nice visit here to Robynn's Ravings.
    I also have a college age child - my son Jared. He isn't going to a university though - he's studying to be a film score composer. He just received a Specialist Certificate in Film Score and Orchestration. I'm so proud of him and I'm sure you feel the same way. How do our children grow up so fast? I love each stage of life though, don't you?

    Well, I'm off to do some more porch visits. I'll be at it a while.

    Have a blessed Sunday evening.
    Lynnette

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  5. I really enjoyed your blog. Hope you have a great week. Blessings,

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  6. If I hear of anyone going to college I'll let them know. My greats mostly are not going and my great-greats aren't old enough yet. Sure good info, though.

    Helen

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  7. I'll be needing these next year. Thanks!

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  8. Renting textbooks? What a brilliant idea! When I was at uni, we borrowed them from the library or bought them secondhand at the university student bookshop.

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  9. What a great idea...renting text books!!!

    Wasn't such a thing when my daughter went to college & university...it was possible back then to buy some second hand but not all were availabel.

    Books are so expensive but a must have...go a head and put your book on hold Robynn...I have faith in you I kow you could come up with a text that every college or university student should have...I'll even help you...then we both can go to the Cayman Islands!!!!

    Cheers

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  10. How abolutely brilliant!! Had no idea. But now do for the remaining 3. Hoorah. Now, get going on that text book you're writing... its a fab idea. Shall I do one too? Then we can open a book shop. XX

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  11. They are amazingly expensive. Great deal on the cost cutting! And loving the green appeal of chugg.com

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  12. Wow, had NO clue. Wonder if they did that when I went to undergrad and grad school (lots of books could have been saved on that now sit on my shelf). Very neat idea... maybe I'll get to use it in 15-18 years!

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  13. I graduated years ago and remember my text books for my first semester costing around $700. I did not rent, have never heard of renting and have a section of my shelves designated for outdated textbooks I will never use but couldn't sell and refust to give up b/c they were freakin' expensive. How is that for a run on sentence. Renting, huh, very smart.

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  14. You might also try www.CourseSmart.com... they offer 7000 titles for download, via the Internet or on the iPhone.

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  15. My daughter Marissa graduated already, but I will bookmark these links for Kyle! Thank you! Happy Monday!

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  16. Cool .... I wonder what Samuelson's economic book costs these days

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  17. Back when I went to college I had to buy all of my books. I can't remember how much they were. There were a few semesters where I only took 2 classes because I was working full time to pay for COLLEGE!&%$# So I met my man and got married the day after finals! At that point I only needed 2 classes to graduate. Did I go back? Nope! I didn't need that degree. I already was working in my field. Did college help me at all? Nope! I don't seem to think that it did. I was fortunate enough that I lived close enough to the college that I didn't have to move out! lol

    I'm glad to hear that you can now rent the books! I hope the price of college goes down over the next few years! My oldest won't start for at least 7 yrs! lol

    I'm glad you liked the waterfall pictures! If you clicked on that picture on my blog it will take you to the original source. At that site they had a lot of free pictures!

    Hugs,
    Angela

    ps my word verification is
    math p

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  18. Thanks for sharing this info, Robynn. My son won't be graduating for several years and then who knows what textbooks prices will be. Hopefully there will be even more options. When I went to college you had to buy all your textbooks from the college bookstore, now there's was a racket!

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  19. What a great idea! Robynn, have I told lately how absolutely wonderful you are!!

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  20. You can RENT them? I spent a freaking fortune on textbooks, only to stand in the buy back line at the end of the semester to be told that my book was now worth $1. To which I said, "SOLD!"

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  21. Your page is beautiful. Congratulations on your oldests scholarship. I am getting ready to graduate my first after 12 years of home school and I am counting on God to work out the details.

    Your page is lovely. I am glad you stopped by Art's chili.

    Kat

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  22. Oh my word! Kelsey hollered the amount of one book the other afternoon as I tried to nap! It was loud enough to wake me! Thanks for the resources, we will definitely be using them!

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  23. Good tips for finding cheaper books. Our last son is getting ready to start his senior (5th) year of college. Hopefully, this is the last year we'll have to worry about the horror of textbooks. We've had kids in college for the last 11 straight years. Oy.

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  24. Here I saw "rent a planted tree" and I was wondering if they rent planted backyards, too... or MAYBE they'll donate greenery to MY backyard each time YOU buy a book. Mind requesting that for me?!
    Hooray for money saved (I wonder if we could rent our old Explode the Code workbooks if we erased the kids' answers...)
    Lori

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  25. What a good idea! I didn't know about these where you could rent textbooks. I'll mention about this in my Friday "Things I Learned This Week" post at www.zemeks.blogspot.com with a link back here.

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  26. I remember those days all too well and then when my husband had to purchase all his medical school texts. Wow! We were like you and only existed on one income and money was always tight. I just got used to it.
    I think it's fantastic you can rent texts now.

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  27. I've been out of college for 4 years (seminary was different as our texts were real books, AKA $10-20 a pop), and from what I've heard, prices have increased significantly from the exorbitant prices I had to pay. I spent a lot of time hunting down bargains online as well...it's so worth it!

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  28. Oh good Heavens above!! We are not alone. We stil haven't gotten all of Erin's. She starts MONDAY! Will let you know what happens.

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  30. This is very good information...I'm years away yet...wondering if this would still be around.

    Congratulations to your Bo.

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  31. What a great idea! I wish I had known about them while I was in school because you are right - textbooks are outrageously expensive!

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