College Textbooks: How digitizing and updating editions means more money spent by the student

In a time when libraries are shutting down, the importance and fragile nature of the written word has never been so unimportant, frivolous, and non-stop. Human history has been defined by the written word and its effective means of communication. The invention of the printing press made books cheaper and more abundant, now that monks weren't sitting in their basements re-writing texts by hand. One of those books being the Judeo-Christian Bible, was made more accessible than ever after the printing press. The burning of the Library of Alexandria caused a surge of information to be lost, information that recalled great feats and intricate details on our own past. Information that could never be reclaimed or rediscovered.
In this digital age, where tweets and Facebook updates have become infamous for their superfluous nature, it would seem there is no limit to what is necessary to be expressed via written words. One worry though, is that as libraries age and wither, will we trust Apple and Amazon to keep the digital texts the same as the physical? Will Apple be able to one day, and over time, be able to edit out parts of books it deems necessary to be censored. Will this censorship have mass impact on our cultures by effectively eliminating the information, just as burning a library did centuries ago? Whoa, we need to take it easy on the blotter, as a college student you're just upset that textbook prices are so high.
Guess what, it's no coincidence that textbook editions change almost every year now. This was drastically different just a decade ago, when textbook editions lasted longer. By changing editions every year, it makes passing down your old textbooks difficult. Renting textbooks is now all too common, which means no writing in your textbooks, very reminiscent of high school is it not? Or you could buy the textbook and hope to sell it back, but that also means no highlighting, underlining, or doodling on those precious pages.
What's the difference in these textbook editions? Have we made that much change in Algebra in the last 365 days? Has Biology drastically changed its views on cells and the human anatomy? Should we assume that History from 1500-1750 has been false all along? Surprisingly... no. Not in the slightest.
Dat resale value.
The greatest difference in these textbook editions is at the very end of each chapter, and it's a series of questions called the "Chapter Review," and professors just love giving these problems out as homework assignments. It's unfortunate that you have last years edition, because the questions have changed. Well, most of the time, the questions are almost identical, except for their order. So it doesn't matter if you have the entire chapter's concept memorized and down to a science, the homework submitted by a student with an older edition isn't going to pass. This means for all the old-time students who were jealous at the textbook libraries available for Greek's at their college's fraternity and sorority houses, they can sleep soundly knowing that old method of saving money on textbooks will not work. 
In a shocking similarity, Biology: Science for Life edition 3 is about as different from Biology: Science for Life edition 4, as Madden 2012 is from Madden 2013.
So, the differences in these physical editions of these textbooks seem to only be as important as far as the course assignments are concerned. Granted, the examples may be slightly more up to date, for example, instead of Clinton appearing in a classroom to talk about the human anatomy, it may be Obama in a cliche classroom talking about medicine. Oh, and also there is about a 100$ price difference in editions, so if you have a personal thirst for knowledge, save money that could be better spent not-socializing and buy the earliest edition possible.
Then comes the problem of courses that require, online "help", or online assignments. To be able to use this online material to further your knowledge it's understood that you can access this technology by having the appropriate technology. I.e. An up-to-date laptop that can download the software, speedy internet access, and of course the Access Code- which requires the purchase of a new textbook that comes with the code. Even if you have the right textbook edition thanks to a friend, passing the course is going to rely on your ability to access and submit online information. Many companies truly care about your education such as The McGraw-Hill Companies and ALEKS -- Assessment and Learning, which both offer programs that cost upwards of 100$ a piece, for a 6 month period. This means if you decide to drop the course, you have an added wasted expense.
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So, we're not here just to bombard you with a rant to leave you miserable. Here's what students can do to combat high textbook prices
1. Rent/ Resell the God-Foresaken book
Renting guarantees lower prices, but take some precautions. Make sure the book isn't damaged and can be reused and make sure you don't need an online course access code which only comes with new books. But wait! Often, the software or access code can be bought separately. Compare the costs of buying a new book with the software included versus renting the book and buying the software separately. Also realize that with both renting and reselling, damage to the book could cost more that you realize, which includes highlighting important information and folding corners of the pages. Reselling a new textbook is more of a risk, because if the edition changes before you can resell your slightly used book, you're stuck with a heavy paper weight and expensive reminder to hate textbook companies.
2. Use ebay and Amazon to your advantage buy buying used books online often for a much cheaper price than at your local "Used Textbook" store. The risks associated here include getting sent the wrong edition, a damaged copy, or the wait period, which you may not have, and shipping costs.
3. Torrent your textbooks or buy a much cheaper, albeit older, edition. Now your only problem will be finding a friend who will loan your cheap-self his book so you can copy down the homework problems. If you decide to save an incredible amount of money this way, realize the importance of attending class. Now that demonoid has been closed, torrenting textbooks may have gone "the way of Old Yeller" (edition 1) or according to edition 4 "the way of MegaUpload."

School in Fall

School is back from the summer! Cases of "Senioritis" have cleared up throughout the country. Those effected by "Senioritis" have been cured of their laziness and superiority complex. For some seniors, the realization that by slacking off their last year of high school because they already got an acceptance letter from college, has left them without a school to attend, because even though an acceptance letter was sent, colleges still expect the same academic performance during the students final year. For those others freshman, during the first year remember to work hard, because an academically poor year cannot be undone and will be upsetting as a junior or senior.
In regards to G.P.A., a wise friend told us that 3.0 is the bare minimum if you are hoping to continue school even after a four year degree. The difference between a 2.99 and 3.0 is drastic. Think of it like a television commercial where items are sold for $19.99. That 20$ seems infinitely higher than only 19.99 (or so marketing suggest).
Meet as many people as you can this fall. The beginning of the school year offers orientations that can help you avoid becoming lonely or burnt out on school. This is an exciting time in any students life, but depending on your social skills, can also be nerve-rattling.
Orientation is also a perfect time to become comfortable with your new schools campus. Learn quicker paths to your classes that avoid over populated couriers which can leave you late for class. Alternative driving routes and parking spaces are easier to learn before it costs a course absence or tardiness.
Remember to not bring everything you own. As a freshman you are still far from the in dependency of home, and there is no reason to bring everything you own. Guitar Hero may have been fun in high school, but it will not help academically or socially... maybe that plastic guitar should get left and in its replacement, pack an extra blanket. Bringing too many personal items from home is a classic freshman mistake and leads to clutter especially in small dorm rooms.
Should I drop a class? When should I drop a class? Deciding to drop a class is an important decision to make. Dropping a class means instead of receiving a low letter grade, for whatever reason (personal, too many other challenging classes, professors style, etc.), a student can "drop" the class and take it again at a later date. Make sure to speak with advisers as well as the professor before deciding to drop a class, especially if much effort has already been invested in the course. This includes buying a the classes usually overpriced textbook. If a class is dropped and retaken later, the textbook edition could easily change, which will leave you with a wasted expense, which will sting as a broke student. Don't get lazy as a student and allow that to influence the decision to drop a course.
In class, don't be scared to ask questions regarding material that is unclear. Chances are other students are wondering the same thing. At the same time, pay attention, so if something becomes unclear, the professor won't say that question was already answered earlier during that class period. No one will think you are a loser or nerd for asking about difficult and complex material. Also, don't be the class-clown . This lesson can be learned the easy or hard way and it's ultimately the fact that everyone there is wanting to learn and/ or get on with their day. Save your outgoing and humorous charm for outside the classroom, where friends and colleagues will appreciate it more than the teachers.
Relax! Don't stress too much over school or social life. Realize that others have gone through similar if not identical situations and problems. By using a day planner, you can properly manage time and avoid procrastinating.
Be nice and courteous to everyone. This includes all those you think are weird. Avoid talking behind peoples back and stay away from gossip and drama. Trust me, as a student you will have more to think about than who Stacy Anderson is taking to dinner on Friday. Realize that many classes will not just have freshman, and that just because someone is a freshman doesn't mean they are the same age as you. Some classes that are required in your major may even have seniors in them, who will seem radically more experienced.

Find success during the first week of school

School is back. What should you being doing to get ahead and reduce stress during the first seven days in your new life?

Start thinking before the actual first week. Get all the supplies and technology needed as a student. More than likely dorm room shopping is a must. Get only the necessities because your budget will grow increasingly tighter. Get pens, pencils, notebooks, and print off your schedule. If you can get your books ahead of time, go ahead and do that. Buying textbooks can save a lot of time that can be focused on studying.

school starts tomorrow!?
Why that's the day after today!

Relax. Every single professor on the first day of class will try and make their class sound so incredibly difficult. This is a classic move to scare, or motivate, students to pay attention and take the course seriously. This is also a great way to cause panic attacks! Don't let the classes that seem impossible on the first day intimidate you. You will find throughout college that most of your classmates are in similar situations.

Most colleges have first-week activities lined up. Take advantage of this to meet new people and learn information about what extracurricular hobbies could be of interest. If your university doesn't have first week activities (as cheesy as some can be) it must be a pretty boring school. This is a great opportunity though to socialize and make a first impression. This is the time when new friendships and circles of friends are made. Getting involved with a group of friends is a great way to avoid having to introduce yourself later in the year. Finding friends is also a great way to avoid homesickness and enjoy good laughs.

Do a fake school day. A fake school day is when you go around campus and make sure you know how to get to every class and where the classroom is located. Take a mental note of how long it will take to arrive to class. All of this information will make the first week that much easier.

Get moved in and make sure everything is working. That laptop case you decided to pass on may have resulted in a wonky computer. Make sure everything is ready for lift-off.

Avoid getting the blues of school's first week. Spend time with friends while staying productive. Put your energy towards something effective. Avoid those who are irritating. Avoid getting frustrated at an earlier wake up call and realize that the academic demands the first week of school are so simple. However, this is the time when everyone transitions into "school mode." They go from summer free birds to student cyborgs who "-*-Fall Mode Activated-*-!"

What should I wear the first week of school? Well, if you're that shallow and vain I would recommend wearing something comfortable because a lot of studying is in your future if you don't get your priorities straight.

Relax Again! This is not high school. Don't worry about the seniors picking on the underclassmen. As a college student you are a mature adult, act like it. Be outgoing and friendly. Even though some people never change, sorry, there will always be that girl talking behind peoples back or that guy trying to start a fight. Regardless, it's important to relax and change that nervousness to excitement. After your first year of college, much less the first week, you will feel changed and will have learned important life lessons!

Be flexible your first week back at school. Attend as many orientations as possible. Read the syllabus for that class and try and work future assignments. Asses how arriving to class went, where you late or too early? Take advantage of Greek rush parties too. Greeks through large parties for freshman to get them interested in recruitment. Try and get ahead of some classes by printing out all the material, making sure you have the right textbook, and ensuring your laptop is capable of downloading all the new software that math class requires. Meet people throughout your dorm and find your own routine.

Why Summer ending is good!

Congratulations to everyone who made it through high school and are planning to attend college soon! Depending on the school's schedule (semesters vs quarters), summer vacation is quickly coming to an end. Are you excited or upset?
An end to summer means an end to this heat that has plagued my southern state and most of the country. Fall is a great time of year and important for new freshman. This is the time when first impressions are made. That's right, high school class of 2012, you are no longer seniors, or the big shots at school. College is a whole new world, even though at times it may feel similar to high school, college brings together students from all over the world, with different backgrounds, personalities, and lifestyles.
Regardless, here are the top reasons we're glad that summer is over.
1. That heat. Aforementioned heat wave this summer was brutal. Sun burns and heavy sweats are only a few of the downsides to the high 90 degree weather. Enjoy the warmth while it lasts though because it's going to get cold soon!
2. Seeing old friends/ classmates. Especially at college, where distance can impact relationships, it's great to have classes to bring everyone back together in a familiar setting.
3. New responsibilities Maybe you took on a summer job or decided to find a hobby that took up a lot of your free time. Say goodbye to those ways, because your focus is on textbooks, lectures, and grades now.
4. No time left for excuses That's right, it's time to go on those vacations or weekend trips you've been wanting to go on but couldn't find the time. Once fall starts, regular routines start up. People go back to working 9 to 5's and students-young and old alike- are back in class. Even television bases it's lineup for the fall. Plus, after all the excitement of the Olympics, sports and cartoons basically all start once the summer ends.
5. No more tan-lines That's right, the season will soon be the time to bundle up in a jacket or at least a long-sleeve shirt. So no more tan-lines from the sun or waiting to wear your new fall wardrobe.
6. End of Summer Parties Time to get together for one last hoopla before school's back in session. For new freshman, this means saying good bye to friends who are going away to different universities and it means savoring the last moments of your lives when everything is simple, and reminiscing on old memories. Don't get too sad because you will surely see each other over breaks etc. but you will notice that college matures and changes students in short periods of time. Come Christmas your best friend or close friends may appear completely foreign.
7. No more boredom The promise of not being bored isn't a guarantee, but at least those summer thoughts of "I have literally nothing to do," can be replaced with "I have nothing to do... but I really should at least look at my [insert subject here]'s textbook."
8. Summer school is over! Prepare for your campus to fill up fast and for everyone to be returning to their normal routines. Depending on how summer school went, the end of these unorthodox classes may be one of the greatest blessings.

So, time to get back to work and organized for the upcoming school year. The weeks will go by fast even if the days seem to pass slowly. Stay tuned for more college reviews and advice now that school is back in session. So turn off Alice Cooper's "School's Out" and put on whatever song motivates your productivity because the daily grind and stress of schools has started, or for some is very close to being underway. Good luck in all your classes!

Earning pocket money for college students

Pic related.
It's the money tree you don't have.
College is expensive. Without proper financial aid from state, federal, or family assistance, graduating, especially for four year degrees, takes decades of hard work and careful saving.
Assuming you're lucky enough to afford attending a higher level education, after textbooks and other basic needs are met, students often find themselves broke and unable to participate in activities. Money doesn't buy happiness, but it does provide opportunities that the poor don't get.

Before you begin reading this list, realize that the temptation to participate in any illegal activities to earn money will not pay off in the long run. Especially as a student, having a criminal background will only hinder the hard-work put towards furthering your future success. There are plenty of ways to earn money that don't involve lawyers, probation, or Saul Goodman.

Need side money to spend out of pocket as a broke college student?

#1 Donate Plasma
Plasma is in your blood, and if you drink plenty of water, rest, and keep a healthy diet, this is an easy source of spending money. Downsides to donating plasma include irritability fatigue, and scarring. Not just plasma though! You're young and healthy so go ahead and donate blood, hair, sperm, or anything else that medical offices will pay for!

#2 Sell unused/ unwanted items or Offer services Online
Websites such as Ebay and Craiglist can be gold mines for college students looking for pocket change.

#3 Earn Money Online
Be wary of scams such as pyramid schemes, however, sites such as swagbucks, cashcrate, dollar surveys, inboxdollars, steam, naturebucks, zeekrewards (MLM), blogging, TopLine, GiftHulk, Vagex, Mturk, AppRedeem, Treasure Trooper, and Bing Rewards can be easy and valuable means of income.

**#4 Get a Part-time Job
Especially if you were working as a high school student, use the skills and experience you learned there to acquire a local job that works around your class schedule. Excellent jobs for students are those that allow you to study while you're job is slow. Examples include package handling, librarian assistants, or night shift employment.

#5 Learn more about your schools' work-study programs and find out how to qualify

**#6 Avoid Needless Spending!
Sorry, but you're not going to afford to eat at a restaurant every night or be able to go shopping every weekend. Avoid parking tickets and late-fees like the plague. A crucial financial pit of loss is in ordering soft drinks in a drive-through line. Studies show that fast food companies such as McDonald's or Taco Bell earn + 100% revenue on soft drinks. An easy way to save hundreds of dollars is to avoid buying sodas if you aren't going to take advantage of the free refills. A penny saved is a penny earned so learn how to live within your means. Hard-work pays off, no need for a vacation!

#7 Mow lawns, help move furniture, wait tables, volunteer- Just find out what you are good at and advertise it. Help tutor or proofread papers. Do you have a knack for arts and crafts? Sell that to suckers who will pay money for it. If you are good at taking pictures, drift around populated areas and tourist spots and offer to photos. As an artist, offer to draw caricatures. If you have a talent for baking, sell your goods at bake sales at the local church. Put up flyers offering cheap car washes or lawn care. If you are experienced as a babysitter, get your name out there and develop a respectable reputation.

**#8 Find a Job?!
This is critical because of the impact it will have on your future resumes'. Even if it means taking fewer classes (see financial support to find out how many hours absolutely must be taken), any job will be crucial in supporting yourself in the long term. Be careful to avoid over scheduling which will lead to lower test scores AND decreased work performance.

#9 Garage Sale
So no luck selling that extra TV or video games online? Hold a garage sale and get rid of the clutter in your life while also earning cash.

#10 Become a mystery shopper, or participate in market research
Whenever the opportunity arises, market researchers will pay big bucks for test subjects. It's an easy and safe way to earn money while voicing your opinion.

#11 Take advantage of free samples
There are literally hundreds of blogs and sites on the internet providing free samples. Search around for great deals. Avoid the trap of spending extra money on name brands. There's no shame in saving an extra dollar or two by buying generic. Search "freefly"

#12 Sell Aluminum cans or Copper wiring
Places will pay top dollar for each ounce of copper wire you bring to them. See above for rules regarding the legality of your income especially with copper, which is often stolen. Collecting aluminum cans and selling them by the pound is good for the environment and your pocket.

#13 Sell bottled water
Ask any businessman and he'll tell you the importance of location and timing. Buy bottled water in bulk and sell it outside of sports games. People will be thirsty and appreciate the convenience.

**Numbers four and six (eight) are the most critical in maintaining comfort as a student. Stay smart and avoid scams. The internet is a great place to find an area to cash in on, but so is socializing and developing co

nnections locally and on campus. Let your friends and adviser know that you are on the job hunt and looking for ways to earn money.