Can You Save Big By Renting College Textbooks?


Renting college textbooks is one option for students.

Renting college textbooks is one option for students.

Last April, SayCampusLife ran an article titled, “Kiss Your College Bookstore Good-Bye” where we shared some options students have besides buying their books at the college bookstore. After all, if you’re plunking down hundreds to even over one thousand dollars per academic year on books you’ll never use again, can you see the value of bypassing your school’s store? We think that you can!

In our earlier report we listed four ways that students can save money on their textbooks: buy used, do without, shop online, or even renting your textbooks.

With the latter option, we learned that there are a handful of companies who will rent a book to you, with Chegg being the largest one of all. In Chegg’s case, they claim that students can save 60-80% on the cost of a textbook by renting their books for the semester.

“Getting my textbooks through Chegg is a no-brainer,” said Anthony Hill of Northern Illinois University. “I don’t have to wait in long lines and they arrive right at my front door. Better yet, I save money each year on college textbooks and even help the environment. As the school year is right around the corner I’ll be online with Chegg in the coming weeks to prep for the new school year.”

“Last year I saved $200 using the Chegg service,” said Jessica Morales of Nova Southeastern University. “That is a lot of money for a college student and money I reinvested in my college education. Chegg has made it so easy to save money and rent and return books.”

In Chegg’s case, the environmental benefits include reusing textbooks multiple times and the company’s pledge to plant a tree for every textbook rental. To date, Chegg has funded over 100 acres of trees which is 100 football fields or 25 city blocks of worth.

Besides using a service like Chegg, students can save money by purchasing textbooks via Amazon or through online ad sites such as Craigslist. Some online rental textbook companies will allow you to highlight text, but they will not take your books back if you write in them. You’ll want to make sure that you are familiar with the terms of the rental agreement before choosing any service.


Kiss Your College Bookstore Good-Bye

One Month Until ‘Textbook Tuesday’ – Biggest Day for Online Textbook Rentals, August 19th, 2008

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Categories: College Budgeting