New Trend Saving Students Money

College students all across East Texas are heading back to school this week. On top of the cost for tuition and room and board, there are dozens of other costs that both students and many parents must deal with. The biggest of those, the price of textbooks.

For some, that can mean an additional $1,000 a semester. We've found a way your student can get to class for much less.

UT Tyler freshman Amy Gill has just about everything she needs for school. She's registered for classes, got an apartment, she's even picked a major. What she doesn't have are her textbooks. Just finding the books at the campus bookstore can be a chore. Then, you have to pay for them.

"Yeah, I mean it's a book and it's $140," Gill said "If there was a used one I bought it but there were only a couple of used one's that I found."

Amy chose the traditional route to get her books, but more and more students are going online. With many web sites advertising up to 50 % in savings, we decided to give one a try. We chose one of the larger online distributors, Once on the textbook page, we used Amy's list to search for books.

In under 10 minutes, we found the books we needed, and were ready to check out. We're definitely saving time, but are we saving money? Here is how it breaks down.

From the bookstore, Amy picked up three chemistry books, an art book and a book on Texas politics. Total cost after taxes, $325.72. Online, we were able to pick up those same books, at just $298.26. That's a savings of over $27.

Now, we'll wait a few days for shipping and Amy was able to get her books right away, but with a price.

"It's almost easier to come here but it's probably cheaper to do it the other way... I don't know what I'll do (next semester)."

It can take up to nine days to receive your Amazon shipment, at no charge. We also found students turn to when the bookstore has run out.

One other note some students we talked to say an advantage of buying books at the bookstore is the return policy. To learn more click on the link below.

Chris Gibson, reporting