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Tips for Saving Money on College Textbooks

  • Check the Course Syllabus (provided on-line when enrolling in specific classes)
    • The course syllabus will identify the book(s) that you need for each course
  • Use the ISBN Number
    • Every book has a unique ISBN number; use it to make sure that you get the right book, version, edition
  • Only purchase required textbooks
    • Some courses may have a list of optional books; wait to purchase these books until you have a better sense of how they will be used in the course (you may not need them)
  • Rent vs. Buy
    • Renting is often cheaper than buying; shop around to check prices
      • If you rent books from multiple sites, please print copies of the confirmation pages and place them in the front of the books.  This will help you remember when and where to return the books at the end of the rental period.
  • Consider an E-Book
    • Many books are available electronically and may be cheaper than the hardcopy
  • Access Codes
    • If the syllabus indicates that you will need an access code to access online content, please make sure that the book you order includes a valid access code.  A previous student will most likely have used the access code in a used book so it will no longer be valid.  Some publishers allow you to purchase access codes separately
  • Shopping for Textbooks Online
    • When shopping for textbooks online beware of third party sellers.  Check the reviews before purchasing from a third party. The reputable online retailers do a good job of screening out bad actors but it is still wise to exercise caution when choosing a seller
  • Popular Textbook Rental Sites:

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