Skip to main content

Textbooks are an expense that can be unaccounted for when a student is about to begin their academic school year. A little research on how to get textbook scholarships or textbooks at a reduced price can go a long way in helping you save money.

Accessing Affordable Textbooks

Scholarships to cover the expenses of books can be found online through common search engines such as Google. To help facilitate the search, go to advance settings and change the domains to .edu or .org. In addition, checking with financial aid’s catalogue of scholarships can prove resourceful; you may find not only scholarships to cover book expenses, but also other college expenses.

Another great source may be local organizations within your community and those around Santa Clara University. Some of these scholarships can be highly selective; if you do not qualify for the scholarship, extend the opportunity to a peer who may qualify.

A great way to save money is to purchase books from websites such as It is recommended that you order the books with at least one to two weeks in advance for the books to arrive on time. Amazon also offers Amazon Prime which is a service with a one year free trial which provides 2-3 day expedited shipping.

Websites such as allow you to compare and contrast prices from online stores with your bookstore. This website can also provide you with a list of the books that you need for your courses.

Purchasing books from LEAD Scholars who already took the course may prove the best way to save money. However, due to the authors constantly publishing new editions, the edition your peers may have may be an outdated version. In addition to that problem, some books may require an online code which may have already been used and thus making you purchase a new copy.

Students also have the option of renting books from the bookstore or from other places such as, and other online sources and bookstores. This may save you money but you will also have to keep in mind that your interaction with the book may be limited as some companies limit how much you may mark the book. Many of the companies which rent books have a deadline typically a week or two after the end of the course, failure to meet the deadline can lead to fines.

Borrowing books from other LEAD Scholars can help you save money. Nevertheless, you have to take into account that your peers also need to purchase books and they might prefer selling the book. Sharing a book with a friend can also help you save money but there are factors you have to take into account such as working around the other person’s schedule, the restrictions they may place on the book as well as the limited access during midterms and finals.

Some instructors have reserved copies of the required texts available at the circulation desk for limited two hour time periods. In some occasions, some professors may even have extra copies of the texts in their office that may be loaned out during their office hours. The library is another option when it comes to borrowing books. In some rare occasions the library may have a copy of the text available but you have to keep in mind that just like yourself, there may be other students who may want to borrow the book.

Lastly, the library offers interlibrary sharing in which other campus libraries may have a copy on reserve which can be borrowed through LINK + for a period of 3 weeks which can be renewed if possible.