SLASH TEXTBOOK COSTS: College students spent about $655 over the past 12 months on required course materials, according to the trade group, the National Association of College stores. Who wouldn't want to cut that bill? Now the 20 Million Minds Foundation has kicked off a campaign that could save many students money--and will put $100 into the hands of at least 50 students. Between now and October 13, the nonprofit is sponsoring the “Textbook Price Comparison Challenge,” effectively urging students to check out a textbook price-comparison engine. Students should start here.
The foundation lists many of the required texts for many schools, particularly in California but you can also put in the title (or better, ISBN) of a text. Like the Kayak travel service, the Slugbook's engine will surface different places to get--and prices for--your book. (For instance, a new copy of the 4th edition of an organic chemistry book costs $216; in ebook form it will cost $96; and BookRenter will let you have it for a year for $44.)
Students who use the price checker and tweet or share the news get registered in the 20MM sweepstakes. There's one grand prize of $1000 and 50 prizes each worth $100. Good luck!