Students at private universities spend an average $1,200 a year on textbooks, according to the College Board. The TCU Office of Financial Aid puts the average for TCU students’ book and supplies at $970.

This can often leave first-year students asking how to get the best deals and when to buy textbooks. Well, we’ve rounded up some options to answer that very question.

Dr. Kassia Waggoner, a professor of English and Women and Gender studies, recommends students buy or rent their textbooks as early in the semester as they can.

“I am a literature and composition professor, so I can tell you that in my classes, it is essential to buy or rent the books right away,” said Waggoner.

However, she does suggest waiting until you see the syllabus for some classes.

“Some classes may not depend on the book as much, so I recommend waiting until after you see the syllabus before buying a textbook,” she said. “If you see that reading quizzes are a part of your grade, that’s a sign that you should definitely buy or rent the textbook for the course.”

As for where to get those books, here are some tips from upper-division students to be passed down:

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