Money Q&A: Saving money on books and supplies

Editor’s note:

For the last two years, the basic personal finance class offered in the fall by the College of Pharmacy has topped out on enrollment. Yes, students want to learn more about the fundamentals of managing their money! As a result, an advanced personal finance class was added for the spring semester. (Important note: These classes teach concepts; they do not offer personalized financial advice.) 

When pharmacy student Melinda Conley had additional questions, instructor Kunal Amin, Pharm.D., offered to answer them online. Here’s one. If you have others, send them to The Pulse at

Q.What are some of the most creative ways you can think of to save money on school books and supplies?

A. Books and supplies can cost an average of $3,200 to $4,500 for pharmacy students. This is certainly a substantial cost, since most students enter their professional or graduate school years with substantial financial debt. Look into grants and scholarships available for books and supplies as your first step.

In addition, consider online resources. To name a few, all NEOMED students (not only pharmacy students) have access to OhioLINK Library, and College of Pharmacy students can use Access Pharmacy Online. Many pharmacy books including the Pharmacotherapy book are available to NEOMED students at no additional cost by accessing the NEOMED online library. Books that are not available on Access Pharmacy can be requested through OhioLINK and potentially renewed for the duration of the course section.

Think ahead to the next semester and consider purchasing a book from an older classmate at a discounted price. With the availability of .pdf versions available for almost all books, students can form a group and purchase an online version of the book to be shared. Many student cohorts also have Facebook groups and other social media capabilities. You can utilize these platforms to share used books and supplies. You’ll help other students decrease the financial burden of graduate and professional studies — and maybe some of the emotional burden, too.  

I hope that these ideas help you save some money!

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