There are many factors that stop prospective students from pursuing a college education.
One of the main reasons people choose not to attend college is the cost. Tuition, student fees — and for some of us, textbooks — can add up to a financial burden that is too much to bear.
While Salt Lake Community College is trying to help with the first part of that equation, students have a few options when it comes to textbooks.
Finding a textbook
To find out if a particular class requires a textbook, students can look up specific course information on MyPage. The SLCC bookstore also provides a form where students can search for texts based on a specific course and section.
Another way to get information about a possible textbook is to read the course syllabus and email the professor. In some cases, the most recent edition of a textbook may not be necessary. If an earlier edition is allowed, the purchase price could be much lower.
Students who prefer to play it safe may want to wait until the first day of class to find out the exact edition they will need.
Check the college bookstore
If a specific edition of a textbook is required then a visit to the campus bookstore may be in order.
SLCC bookstores may offer selections that are geared toward certain courses of study. For example, the store at South City Campus tends to carry more fine arts course materials because most of those classes are taught at that campus. The main bookstore, located at Taylorsville Redwood Campus, will have the widest array of books in stock.
The campus bookstore also sells used textbooks. These versions are often in limited supply but can be considerably cheaper than a new copy. Not all texts are available in used form because they may be changed or updated frequently for a particular course.
Remember buyback time
SLCC holds a textbook buyback program at the end of each semester. Students have the opportunity to bring their new and used textbooks to the bookstore in hopes of selling their books back to the college.
The buyback program is dependent on a few things.
Not all books will be eligible for buyback. For example, if a department decides to change their textbook to a newer edition, then the current book will not qualify for buyback. The condition of a textbook can also determine its buyback value.
Keep in mind that the buyback program is for a limited time, usually during finals week. The longer someone waits to bring their textbook in, the less money they will be offered for the book.
An alternative to the campus bookstore, PJ’s College Books also holds a similar buyback program during finals week.
Save on textbook rentals
If the purchase price of a textbook is just too high, students have the option to rent their books for a period of time.
The SLCC bookstore offers textbook rentals that are oftentimes cheaper than the used textbooks available. A debit or credit card is all that is required to rent a textbook.
When looking for a specific text, always contact the bookstore in advance to make sure they have a copy available.
Try other sources
Many students look outside the bookstore for their textbook needs. Local shops like PJ’s sell and rent new or used copies of textbooks.
Electronic books, or e-books, are available for the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook, as well as through apps for Android and iOS. E-books can be much cheaper as the publisher only needs to pay for software and not the actual paper and ink.
Students can also purchase used books online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble or other sources like College Books Direct. Locally, many students turn to KSL Classifieds to buy and sell textbooks.
As SLCC students gear up for another semester, they can learn one thing before they even open a textbook — that it pays to shop around.