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Textbook buying and selling habits of college students by major, income, and scholarship

by ValoreBooks

Textbooks have long been a surprisingly large expense for college students, and the cost has only grown year after year. The Government Accountability Office found that college textbook prices have grown by 82% from 2002 to 2013, outpacing inflation by a factor of three¹. A report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group noted that 65% of students chose not to buy a textbook due to its cost. In response, some professors have shifted to using older editions of textbooks, or even outright buying textbooks for students to use².

High textbook costs lead to difficult decisions

The skyrocketing expense of required textbooks is clearly forcing both students and faculty to make difficult decisions, and we decided to survey 1,000 students on their experiences with paying for these books. What we found was that these high prices are indeed the norm for most students: Over four years, the surveyed students reported spending an average of $2,960 total, for an average of 37.6 books. With average four-year college fees ranging from $10,730 to $40,917, textbooks can be a substantial portion of overall college costs³.

Textbook costs by major

There was a large difference in the price of textbooks among various majors. Students majoring in business reported the highest costs by far: $526 per semester. This was $167 greater than the second-highest prices – $359 per semester for those majoring in fields of science or mathematics. And students who are paying their own way through college ended up spending the most of all. The average cost of textbooks per semester was $573 for students primarily supporting themselves via their job, compared to only $323 for those relying mostly on student loans.

The textbook landscape

The financial aspects of college are a complex landscape for students to navigate, and textbook costs can make this even more challenging. Read on and find out more about where college students are buying and selling their textbooks, how much they’re earning back through resale, and how many of these textbooks are actually being used.

textbook turnover infographic


ValoreBooks is making it easy for savvy students like you to save money, make money, and get the most value out of your college experience. Save up to 90% on the cost of your textbooks when you buy or rent them here.







9 out-of-the-box college clubs

by ValoreBooks

Making friends in college doesn’t have to be hard, time-consuming, or stressful. Joining clubs on campus is an easy way to find people with similar interests as you. These clubs are for everybody–whatever your interests are, even if you like skydiving, squirrels, wizards, or even circus acts. Yep, there’s a circus club for students. Read more about them below, then check out the clubs on your own campus and get involved:


1. The Flying High Circus – Florida State University.

Circus Club Florida State University

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Yes, it’s a circus and it’s fully organized by students. Everything from making the costumes, to putting up the tent, producing the shows, and, of course, performing.


2. Dignified Educated United Crust Eaters Society (DEUCES) – Western Michigan University.

Pizza crust

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It all started in the university dining hall when someone left their pizza crusts because they didn’t like them. Some students decided to do something about this and created a crust eating club.


3. Squirrel Club – University of Michigan

squirrel club

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Do you love squirrels and want to feed them? Then this is the club for you.


4. Skydiving Club – Virginia Tech.

Man Skydiving

You can be a pro or a newbie, but you need the guts to jump out of a plane. If you love the adrenaline rush, this is a perfect fit.


5. Wizards and Muggles – College of Williams and Mary.

Wizards and muggles club

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Calling all Harry Potter fanatics!  Join the Quidditch team and compete with other schools, divide into houses, and compete with each other to gain points throughout the year.


6. Rock-Paper-Scissors Club – University of Kentucky.

Teenage girl playing Rock-paper-scissors game with her friend

Rock, paper, scissors, shoot! Students play the game against each other and are very competitive. They also concentrate on improving their technique and incorporating it to their everyday lives.


7. Humans vs. Zombies – Goucher College

Humans vs. Zombies

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Want to turn your friends into zombies? This is your chance. The game can last a while with no breaks and only a few safe zones like academic buildings. Keep your guard up! For more information on all of the official rules and equipment visit


8. People Watching Club – University of Minnesota

Watching through binoculars

This club isn’t as creepy as it sounds. The club picks an event on campus and then they observe how other individuals interact to better understand race, class, gender, and non-mainstream interests.


9. Cheese Club – SUNY Purchase

Various types of cheese composition

Do you love cheese? Then this is the perfect fit for you. Sample different types of cheese each meeting and discuss which are your favorites and why. There are more types of cheese out there than just American and they’re amazing!


ValoreBooks is making it easy for savvy students like you to save money, make money, and get the most value out of your college experience. Save up to 90% on the cost of your textbooks when you buy or rent them here



Your iPhone’s value is about to drop—sell it before it’s too late!

by ValoreBooks

iPhone Banner

If you currently have an iPhone, know this: the value of used iPhones (current generation and older) is expected to drop on September 9, 2014, when Apple is rumored to be announcing the latest iPhone model. If you’ve been thinking about selling your current one, now’s the time to lock in your sellback price—before its value plummets! Lock in your price today!

Check out what happened to iPhone prices when the iPhone 4S was announced:

Check out what happened to the value of the iPhone when the iPhone 4S was announced

How it works

At ValoreBooks, you get free and instant online quotes that tell you how much we’ll pay you for your phone. Then you ship your phone—for free!—and we cut you a check. Yes, it’s that easy. The best part? Your price quote is valid for 30 days, meaning you can get a quote now, keep your phone for a month, and ship it whenever you’re ready!

How to sell your iPhone using ValoreBooks

  1. Get a free and instant online quote
  2. Print your pre-paid shipping label
  3. Ship your phone within 30 days
  4. Get paid!

Ready, Set, Sell


Tips from a college student: Get involved

by Caroline Kinnen

College club fair

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What is the most important part of college?

The most important part of college is getting involved. My first year of college was all about being exposed to new things. It was vital to my college experience to take advantage of any opportunities that would help me learn something or meet new people.

My school has a huge involvement fair during the first week of school where hundreds of student organizations set up tables on the campus green space. Most tables included an email sign-up sheet where you could sign up to learn more about membership or upcoming meetings. Going to this fair was not only a lot of fun, but also a chance to see everything my school had to offer. Plus, I got a lot of free stuff - pens, candy, cups, t-shirts, bags, and even a plant!  I put my email down for everything I felt I was even remotely interested in. Yoga Club? Sure. Mock trial? Done. Student radio? Why not?

After a couple of weeks of continuous emails I was finally able to determine which clubs/groups I was and was not interested in being a part of. For example, I put my name on the Quidditch Team list, but then received the first email and learned there were tryouts to even make the team, and then if you did make it, they travelled for games. I figured playing Quidditch was a fun idea, but it wasn’t for me. However, I did found a lot of organizations that really fit my goals and interests.

Which clubs did you join?

I joined a group called Humanities Scholars, which consisted of similarly minded people whom I could truly feel comfortable around. The Humanities Scholars group both went to and hosted Humanities themed events. Some of my favorite events included a show by my school’s improv group and a talk about gender roles in the media. Humanities Scholars not only exposed me to amazing guest speakers and events, but it also allowed me to meet some awesome people.

I also joined a group called Project Nicaragua, where I learned about and helped raise funds for an elementary school in Nicaragua. I had a ton of fun at these meetings and socials. The Project Nicaragua group goes on an annual trip to Nicaragua to see the school and get an understanding of the extreme poverty the elementary students face each day. I didn’t go last year, but I hope to go this year!

My favorite club I joined was Partnering Up For Pets, which organizes trips to the local animal shelter to help with dog walking/care. You just sign up whenever you have time and can go to the animal shelter for some quality puppy time. I usually signed up to go when I was stressed or particularly missed my dogs from home. The dogs at the shelter were always excited to see you, and I loved being able to make a small difference while still having fun.

Why should college students join clubs?  

I would recommend joining clubs because it allows you to meet people with similar interests, and explore your own interests. Colleges have so much to offer, and it’s up to you to learn exactly what that is. By getting involved I was able to get out of my dorm, learn more about campus, and meet great new people I never would have otherwise!


Caroline PicAbout the author: Caroline Kinnen is a 19-year-old full-time undergrad student at Ohio State University. She is double majoring in Communications Analysis and Practice and Political Science.




ValoreBooks is making it easy for savvy students like you to save money, make money, and get the most value out of your college experience. Save up to 90% on the cost of your textbooks when you buy or rent them here


10 DIY dorm decorations you should try

by ValoreBooks

Now that you’re a bit more settled in, it’s time to spice up your dorm room. These DIY decorations will help add some color and personality to your room:

1. Cupcake flower lights

DIY cupcake flower lights

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2. Clothesline picture holder

DIY clothesline picture holder

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3. Washi tape letters

DIY washi tape letters

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4. Wall organizer

DIY wall organizer

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5. Geometric paper patchwork for your wall

DIY geometric paper patchwork

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6. Scallop cork board

Hint: Use a cork board instead of thin pieces of wood so that you can pin things on it.

DIY scallop cork board

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7. Floral and wire words you can hang or lay against the wall

DIY floral and wire words

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8. Washi tape picture frames

DIY washi tape picture frames

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9. A simple cacti and succulent garden

DIY cacti garden

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10. Ombre dip-dye a duvet cover

DIY ombre dip-dye a duvet cover

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ValoreBooks is making it easy for savvy students like you to save money, make money, and get the most value out of your college experience. Save up to 90% on the cost of your textbooks when you buy or rent them here