Press Release

Eight Ways to Save on Textbooks and Course Materials


OBERLIN, OHIO, July 19, 2016 – According to the Student Watch: Attitudes & Behaviors toward Course Materials 2015-2016 Report, students, on average, spent $602 on textbooks and other course materials last year. That’s 14% or almost $100 less than they spent in 2007 when spending averaged $701.  Why? Students are comparing prices and taking advantage of a number of cost-saving options such as used books, rentals and electronic materials.

As students head back to campus, the National Association of College Stores (NACS) offers the following tips on ways they can save on their course materials:

  1. Buy used or electronic textbooks and course materials. These options are often one-third to half the price of buying a new print textbook.
  2. Rent course materials. Renting course materials from the campus store helps avoid the shipping hassles and returns students may experience with online companies.
  3. Shop early. It doesn’t pay to procrastinate. The sooner students shop, the more likely they are to find a good selection of used books and rentals.
  4. Use price-comparison tools. Check the campus store’s website for a price-comparison tool. Students can save time and money by finding the best option at the best price.
  5. Know the refund policy. If a student drops a class or the professor decides not to use the textbook, they’ll need to return it before the deadline to get a full refund.
  6. Don’t write in or unwrap books or course materials until they’re certain they’ll be keeping them. Most stores won’t give full credit for course materials that have been marked in or opened.
  7. Keep receipts in a safe place. Most retailers require them for returns. Also, textbook receipts are needed during income tax season when filing for the American Opportunity Tax Credit. For details on how to apply for the credit, go to
  8. Don’t forget about shipping costs if shopping online. Know the full price of buying online. If students need to return a book, they need to find out the costs involved.

Most campus stores have a range of options, including used, rental, and electronic, and also have more flexible return policies that mirror campus deadlines. Students can avoid any hidden shipping and handling fees and the inconvenience of having to ship materials back to multiple online sellers (and remembering where they got each item).

About The National Association of College Stores

The National Association of College Stores (NACS) is the professional trade association representing the $10 billion collegiate retailing industry. NACS represents nearly 4,000 campus retailers and approximately 1,000 industry-related companies that supply course materials and other merchandise and services to campus stores. NACS provides education and other resources that help its member stores support student success, the campus experience, and the academic missions of higher education institutions. NACS is headquartered in Oberlin, Ohio. Additional information can be found online at

About Student Watch

The twice-yearly Student Watch™ survey, conducted by OnCampus Research, the research arm of indiCo LLC, a division of the National Association of College Stores, explores how college students access and use their course materials, the many factors that influence their purchasing decisions, and their thoughts on available options.

Contact:       Jennifer Libertowski, APR
National Association of College Stores
(800) 622-7498 ext. 2249

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