The beginning of any college semester is stressful enough as students sign up for classes, fill out financial aid forms, attend orientation, meet with academic advisors and get ready for countless deadlines and all-nighters.
Ordering textbooks shouldn't add to this stress and through careful preparation students can walk confidently into class knowing they have all the materials they need to start a successful semester.
For those who want to come prepared on the first day of class the EMU bookstore has a textbook and course materials catalog on their website that allows students to look up required material for their classes. By inputting the semester, department and section number for the class, students are able to look up what textbooks they will need and how much they cost.
EMU bookstore carries specific textbooks that other providers don't have. Shipping an order to the EMU bookstore for pickup is also free, although Chegg – another textbook supplier-- offers free shipping on physical textbook orders that exceed a certain amount of money. Amazon also offers Prime Student, where college students can sign up for a 6-month free trial that includes free two-day shipping on eligible orders.
Renting a textbook is the cheapest alternative in comparison to buying one new or used, but the biggest disadvantage is the due date that comes with renting it. Some textbook providers are more lenient if a textbook is returned late, but more often than not a provider will either charge a re-rental fee or the full cost of the textbook as a replacement for the one that wasn't turned in on time.
The price to buy a used textbook is sometimes comparable to the rental cost, making this an appealing option based on the needs of the student. The wear on used textbooks is usually minimal depending on the provider, making this option advantageous compared to buying a brand new edition that may run hundreds of dollars.
Unfortunately certain textbooks are only available as brand new editions. There are two ways to mitigate the price tag on brand new textbooks: buy an older edition or sell the textbook to get some money back.
The EMU bookstore and Chegg both offer programs that will buy textbooks, but the amount offered will often be a lot less than what they were initially purchased for. Choosing between buying a current or outdated edition is largely dependent on how lenient the professor is for the course, as some may make a new edition mandatory because of added information or differing page numbers.
Purchasing textbooks can be stressful when a student doesn't know what materials they need until the first day of class or where to purchase their textbooks from. Through careful preparation a semester can start off seamlessly by researching which textbooks to buy and where to buy them from without spending large amounts of money.