10 things I wish I knew before going to college
Getting textbooks for free: Many schools have underutilized programs that can help you save money on school textbooks. In Illinois, there is i-Share, a network of college and university libraries throughout the state — from tiny private schools, community colleges up to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — that enables students to request books (and other materials) from any member library. If the item is available (sometimes they go missing), it is shipped to the student’s school and held for them to check out for no charge. Unless the book is in high demand, you can renew multiple times to span the entire quarter or semester. There are similar networks in other states and even some that could go farther afield. While there will be some books that you’ll have no choice but to purchase, by taking some time to research your school’s library and book sharing systems, over the course of a few years, this could save hundreds of dollars.