Laura asked: “where can you get inexpensive, used textbooks? one of my friends said she spent $700 on books already…we can find used books around here can’t we?” (sorry, Laura, I know you asked other questions…but I’ll answer this one first.)
Ahh, never spend $700 on books! That’s CRAZY! If you’re going to be taking the General Institute Requirements (a.k.a. introductory math, physics, chemistry, biology…whatever) just wait until you get to campus. There are always upperclassmen trying to sell books. Ask around your dorm, spam the email lists, and you’ll definitely hear of online book exchanges (MIT411.com used to be one of them, but it doesn’t seem to be working anymore.) If nobody that you know has the book that you need, then you can get it off of Amazon.com. Worst comes to worst, buy it from the Coop or Quantum Books, which are the main bookstores in Kendall Square. The Coop is guaranteed to have your textbook and if you get there early you can buy a used copy. Also, it’s been my experience that you don’t need the book right away, so if you have to have it shipped online then it’s usually not a big deal.
Oh…one last thing. A lot of classes have “Course Notes,” which are sold at the Copy Tech. They’re usually between $20-40 and just consist of nicely bound notes or your problem sets for the semester. Your professor will tell if you need them.
So don’t run out and buy textbooks yet! Wait until you get to school, are sure of your classes, and hear which books the professor wants you to get. Usually you can buy older editions of textbooks for a lot less, but sometimes the professors want you to get the newest one.