Tag Archive: thetextbookguru

Summer enrollment increases: Is it the economy?

As it becomes harder and harder for students to get the classes they want during the school year, summer enrollment is increasing at schools all over the country.

  Schools like Kent State, New York University, Southern Oregon University, UC Berkeley, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have all stated that rates of summer enrollment have increased measurably this year. 

 Kent State summer enrollment has increased a whopping 46.9%, according to Business Journal Daily. Similarly, the Polytechnic Institute of New York University has experienced a 26% increase in summer enrollments. Southern Oregon University is also experiencing an increase in summer enrollment by 23%, mostly due to more classes being added. UC Berkeley has had such an increase in summer enrollment that administrators are worrying about student being able to find living space! The University of Nebraska- Lincoln stated that their goal for the summer session was for the same number of students to enroll as last year, but that far more students ended up enrolling. 

 Increased summer enrollment can lead to more classes being offered, a larger variety of people to meet, more conveniently timed classes, and greater ability to finish a degree early, especially for non-traditional or continuing education students.  People who take summer classes may be able to get in to classes they can’t normally get in to, or can take a class solely because it’s interesting to them, according to the Brown University undergrad summer courses webpage.


Homework Help: Rounding up the options


As students spend more and more time online, it’s only natural that hundreds of sites and businesses catering to their needs have cropped over the past decade. CampusBooks.com and other textbook retailers are one category, but it’s also a fact of life that many college students won’t read those books. Will midterms winding down and finals just around the corner, sites that provide help or connect students with resources can be helpful. Rounding up a few of the options out there:

Study Guides

CliffsNotes and SparkNotes are the clear leaders in this arena. They offer guides in all subject areas, from basic literature summaries to AP, SAT and ACT prep materials. If you’re just looking for some basic help with understanding concepts or themes, or need to cram before a test, these are a great place to start.

More interactive sites like eNotes.com provide study guides, but also “communities” where students can pose questions to their peers and even teacher members. The interactivity comes with a membership price tag, but the benefit is both ways: students get help, and teacher members get paid.

The Good: The basics are completely free, and you don’t even have to sign up to view the materials. There is nothing to lose if you don’t find the help you need, and if you need a bit more help, asking questions in a directed forum is a better bet than posing it on Yahoo! Answers.

The Bad: If you have specific questions about a subject matter, or need help with a particularly difficult homework assignment, or if you are writing or editing an essay, chances are you won’t find the assistance you’re looking for immediately.


More Rental Options for the College Bookstore, New Survey Results


The battle over textbook rentals is moving off line and into the campus bookstore, and the turf up for grabs includes both institutional and private stores. During our

CAMEX recap, we shared stories about Follett’s new partner program with independent bookstores, as well as a new partnership between Chegg and ICBA and one between BookRenter.com and NACS. And the trend continues with other companies following suit.


South Eastern Book Co. Joins Forces with CollegeBookRenter.com
SEB, through their $10-million investment in CollegeBookRenter becomes an in-store rental player catering to the needs of today’s college students by offering an online textbook rental program. SEB Rental customizes each bookstore’s rental site using the appropriate school colors and bookstore logo. Unlike its competitors that require a 7-10 day turnaround, SEB guarantees that a bookstore’s rental site will be live within three business days of the initial request. SEB provides the necessary customer support and IT assistance and even facilitates customer returns. SEB will assume any losses associated with students’ failure to return textbooks, and bookstores will collect a 10% commission on all textbooks rented through their SEB rental site. SEB Rental offers a store-reporting function and the company provides promotional materials to drive traffic to bookstores’ rental sites and help ensure their success.

Spring Break tips for students: Saving money, and staying safe


It is officially the mid-semester season of increasing temperatures, mid terms, and job recruiting—and obviously, Spring Break is right around the corner. ‘Tis the season for college students to create those embarrassing memories, soak up the sun, and have the best times of their young lives. Unfortunately, the huge hype of Spring Break comes with a fat price tag and dangerous risks. Here are a few tips to keep your wallets fat and your face not on the 6 o’clock news.

1.     If you go abroad, know the exchange rates

 Luckily for most American students, the prime foreign destination for spring break is Mexico, where the peso is fiscally dominated by the US dollar. However, if you are passing more than ten time zones, the US dollar may not stand so strong. Avoid exchanging currencies at the airport where they are notorious for ripping off travellers. You are best off exchanging at the local bank, through your credit cards, or an ATM (which may be subject to a fee). Regardless, check the newspaper or a currency converter to at least gain the accurate information, and always do a mental double check before buying anything, to make sure you’re getting a good deal.


Cash-Strapped College Part 3: Now what?


This is the last of a three-part series on how to save money on your education. Find the first post here, and the second here.


I believe more congratulations are in order if you are reading this section. You’ve suffered through 4-5 years of undergrad and you’re looking toward the future. Maybe you are a bit more weathered and a bit less bright eyed and bushy tailed about the future, but you’re here and you’re going to make the best of it.


Dealing with huge loan payments in an already dismal employment market can be back breaking. On top of the car payment, credit card payment(s) and cell phone bill, you now have to start paying for that sheet of paper on your wall that says you learned something. But don’t fret too much—you do have options.


STAY IN SCHOOL: This is the first option many consider and as counter intuitive as it may seem, the idea has some merit. While sticking around for grad school or another BS/BA may easily double your debt, it also allows you to defer your payments until you graduate. While this tactic obviously digs the hole even deeper, it buys you time. Time to get more education, more internships and presumably a competitive edge in the job market. It also buys you time outside of the job market in the hopes that when you are finally forced from the warm cocoon of college life into the unforgiving “real world” that the job market will have improved.

DEFERMENT: Instead of staying in school to defer your debt, among other reasons, you can also defer your debt for other reasons that don’t come with more student loans. Besides student enrollment, deferment comes in two other flavors that you should know about: economic hardship and unemployment.


The iPad2: Changing the Education Game?


(Image courtesy of Engadget)

Yesterday, Apple (in the form of Steve Jobs himself) announced the eagerly anticipated iPad2. The new device is leagues beyond the original of a year ago and heads above the competition. Faster, more powerful, lighter, slimmer, more connectivity, heavy on multimedia tools, with a camera and loads of apps, the iPad2 is really bridging the gaps between laptop, netbook, and tablet.

And the kicker? Same price as the original iPad, which started at just $499.

In the presentation yesterday, we saw lots of pointing to the iPad2’s role in education. From the image of the intersection between Technology and Liberal Arts streets to those of the teacher using the device as a presentation tool in the classroom, the vibe was definitely that it was a viable device for education. But as for specifics, there isn’t really anything new or directly targeted toward students and the iPad2’s role for students was merely sort of vaguely implied. As well, iBookstore remains the source for books for the iPad2, but it’s not as if many academic publishers have come on board and made their textbooks for sale in that format.


The search for value: Guest blog by Cheapism

The Textbook Guru wants to bring the best advice, insight and tips from other insiders and money-savers. This week, we’re happy to share a guest blog post by Sarah McClutchy at Cheapism.com. Cheapism is a consumer review site that shows you not just the best products, but the best value products.

Cash-strapped college students should always be on the lookout for deals. Why? Because textbooks aren’t the only category with money-saving possibilities. Take the time to do some online research before plunking down big bucks on furniture, electronics, or home and kitchen items and you’ll discover how to get the most bang for your dollar. After all, you want to find products that are not just inexpensive but products that will last for several years. Make it a rule to only buy products that get a thumbs-up from reviewers.

Start your research at product review sites. You can find expert reviews on sites like Consumer Reports orCnet, and user reviews on Epinions and Amazon. Then there are sites like Cheapism that pull and analyze opinions from around the web to make informed recommendations on everything from cheap space heaters todiscount eyeglasses. Cheap price tags don’t always mean cheaply made – you just need to know where to look and how to distinguish between the deals and the rip-offs. Because the bigger the bill the bigger the potential savings, we decided to focus this blog post on a couple of big ticket items.

One college essential on which you can save hundreds is a laptop. Before you spend $1,000+ on a popular MacBook, check out models costing less than $600. In its cheap laptops review, Cheapism recommends theGateway NV55C03u ($500) and Dell Inspiron 14R ($520). Each of these more affordable options is equipped with Intel’s Pentium P6100 CPU dual-core processor, runs at 2GHz, and includes the basics:  Microsoft Office, CD/DVD player, and wireless support. If you want to splurge, the Toshiba Satellite L655-S5096 boasts a 15.6-inch screen, costs about $680, and is another good option. According to the Cheapism review, many consumers are more than satisfied with these products, which are quality cheap alternatives to the trendier, but higher-priced, Mac models.