Saving Money on Textbooks
Be a smart textbook consumer
There are many ways to buy college textbooks: new books, used books, e-textbooks, and even rental books. Consider your study habits and if you plan to keep your books.
The Federal Textbook Price Disclosure Law helps students and their families reduce costs by requiring price disclosure, unbundling (option to separate textbooks and supplemental materials to sell), and textbook lists. By having information, such as the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), students know exactly what edition is required and can expand their search when purchasing books.
When can I know what books I need?
After you complete registration, you can access your textbook list from the Financial Aid & Scholarship Self Service Portal by clicking on order your textbooks. Don't worry--you will not be required to purchase your textbooks from this site. You will receive a listing of the textbooks that you need for all of your courses and much more.
What if you haven't registered yet, but are considering certain classes and want to know about textbooks? You can use a manual lookup at the Barnes & Noble website with specific information for options and costs.
How much will my books cost?
Costs vary depending where you purchase your books, but the Barnes & Noble website will show you the costs for new, used, rental, e-textbooks at the campus bookstore.
Keep these ideas in mind when making a purchase.
- International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is also provided on the website. The ISBN identifies each book and edition. The ISBN will help you locate the current book and edition if you decide to shop elsewhere.
- Investigate the costs of e-textbooks, especially if you like using a tablet.
- Consider rental books to save money on books you do not plan to keep.
- Comparison shop online using the ISBN.
- Used books are a favorite way to save money. Purchasing a used book on site provides the advantage of being able to examine the book for condition--remember, the seller defines the condition.
- With online purchases, shipping costs tend to be modest. When you order your books early, you may be able to reduce your costs by opting for the least expensive shipping option.
- University professors are becoming increasingly sensitive the textbook costs and the impact on students. Some professors are considering using free online textbooks (without copyright infringement.) Check with your professor to learn if he or she is considering the option for your course.
- The campus Barnes & Noble will now match lower textbook prices from select textbook vendors. Show the bookstore staff the textbook and the lower price that you captured on your telephone and they will match it.
- Book vouchers are available for financial aid students whose financial aid exceeds the cost of their tuition. Students can only use book vouchers at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore on campus or at umd.bncollege.com.