What Else Could Your Students By with Their Textbook Money?

College textbooks are expensive. Often, their high prices are one of the top complaints of college students. For many students, buying textbooks can create an unexpected financial strain. This is especially true for the 71 percent of who take out student loans in order to pay their tuition. The College Board has found that in just one academic year, students spend about $1,250 on textbooks and supplies. The costs have been skyrocketing in recent years, and researchers have seen an 88 percent increase in textbook costs in just the past decade.

As the textbook purchases continue to add up, many creative students start wondering what they could do with that money if they weren’t buying textbooks. The edutech platform, OneClass, noticed the witty commentary about the cost of textbooks, and decided to run some of the calculations on exactly what a college student could buy if they weren’t spending money on textbooks.

In the infographic below, you can explore 70 things that college students could do with $1,250 instead of buying textbooks. Included are practical choices, such as paying off their credit cards or taking one Uber ride per week. There’s also tasty options such as buying eight pizzas each month or one Big Mac per day. There’s tech-focused choices such as buying 30 pairs of noise cancelling headphones or 18 years of VPN service. There’s fun options such as taking a spring break trip to Cancun or buying 38 baseball game tickets. There are also ways to use that money to advance their education. For example, they could get unlimited online class notes for themselves and nine friends, or they could pay the lab fees for eight science/tech classes. Even though textbooks are absolutely necessary to college classes, it’s nice to think about all of the ways we’d rather spend that money. Check out the full infographic below:

What Else Could You Buy with Your Textbook Money

OneClass is an online academic platform that has helped millions of college students get better grades through access to online class notes, study guides, and 24/7 homework help. 

Textbook Prices vs. Food Costs

If you didn’t have to spend money on textbooks, you could buy these food and drinks instead.

  • A jar of Nutella every day for a year
  • 12 bowls of ramen each day
  • A Chipotle burrito every other day
  • One Big Mac per day
  • 20 smoothies per month
  • Sushi three times per week
  • FroYo fans could eat 5 cups of frozen yogurt per week
  • Nine cups of coffee per week for a full year
  • Eight pizzas per month
  • Seven cans of La Croix each day, helping you build that wall of La Croix like the Whole Foods in Brooklyn

Textbook Costs vs. Phone App Purchases

Here are app services you could buy using the money you’d spend on textbooks:

  • One Uber ride per week for a full year
  • A year’s subscription to Spotify for you and 20 friends at the student rate of $4.99 per month
  • An annual Netflix subscription for yourself and 11 friends
  • Antivirus software for 110 devices
  • Use Solvit to get 250 express answers to help you with your homework
  • Dragon Dictation service for 8 years, so you’ll never have to type a term paper again
  • 18 years of VPN service at about $70 per year
  • Password manager service for 52 years

Textbook Costs vs. Buying the Essentials

Rather than buying textbooks, you could use that money to pay for these basics:

Textbooks vs. Shopping

Would you rather be hitting the shops instead of paying for textbooks? Here’s what you could buy if you didn’t need books:

  • 29 pairs of Levi’s jeans
  • Visit Target every 18 days, based on the average per-visit purchase amount for the retailer
  • 50 hats with your college’s name
  • Eight pairs of Ray-Ban shades

Buying Textbooks vs. Dorm Decor

Would you rather decorate your dorm room than spend money on textbooks? Here’s what you could buy instead of a year’s worth of books.

Textbooks vs. Learning Costs

If the money you spend on textbooks were used for other learning expenses, you could buy the following:

  • 10 percent of your tuition bill based on the average tuition cost of $10,230 for a four-year public school
  • Annual OneClass subscription for you and nine friends, including unlimited online lecture notes and study guides
  • Take the GRE six times
  • Lab fees for eight science and tech courses

Textbooks vs. Going Green

For the same amount that you’d spend on college textbooks, you could do the following:

Textbook Spending vs. Travel

Would you rather use your textbook money to have an adventure? Here’s how far you could travel:

Textbook Costs vs. Tech Gadgets

Here’s what you could buy instead of spending money on textbooks:

Buying Textbooks vs. Paying for Fun Activities

Instead of buying textbooks, you could be spending your money on doing one of these fun activities:

Textbooks vs. Class Supplies

Textbooks aren’t the only course materials you’ll need. Using the money you’d spend on textbooks, you could buy the following:

  • Three bookbags per month
  • 20 notebooks per month
  • 3,875 highlighters per year, helping your class notes to be clearly organized
  • 88 citation guides so you’re never without an MLA Handbook

Textbooks vs. Becoming a Student Entrepreneur

If you’d rather start a business while you’re in school than pay for textbooks, student entrepreneurs could buy the following:

  • Website hosting for 10 years
  • 83 domain names to cover a bunch of similar business names
  • 34,723 business cards to help your networking and marketing

To clarify, we’re not actually recommending that you don’t buy your textbooks. However, it sure is nice to think about what you could buy instead.

Find out how OneClass can help you get better grades and pay you to go to clas