College is a big time of transition that can be nerve-racking for any student, but especially for freshmen who aren’t quite sure what to expect. Trying to decide which clothes to pack, picking out the perfect dorm decorations, and trying to make the most of the time before leaving home are just a few of the things that can stress out a soon-to-be college student. 

One thing that doesn’t have to be stressful is textbooks! There’s a common idea that textbooks are this super expensive part of college that simply can’t be avoided, but that’s only partly true. Books are a very necessary part of college life, but they don’t always have to be costly! Below are some methods that will help save money and time when it comes to ordering textbooks:


Amazon is probably the most commonplace for students to buy books, which is understandable because they have everything! It’s pretty simple: search for the book you’re looking for and see what’s available! You can either rent or buy textbooks from Amazon, and they also have an option to purchase/rent eTextbooks. Another great thing about Amazon is that they offer a free six-month Prime trial for all college students, which includes two-day shipping, access to their streaming service, and so much more. And, if you’re still interested in Prime when the trial ends, they offer an exclusive subscription at 50% off for the duration of your college career. 


Chegg is another popular place to get books. Almost every book on there is available for rent instead of purchase, and that alone saves tons of money in the long run! If you rent a book and decide to extend it, or even to purchase it, that can be done on Chegg’s website as well. You can also highlight your rentals, which makes studying so much easier! Whenever you’re done with the book, just grab a box and use Chegg’s prepaid shipping label to send it back. 


If Amazon or Chegg doesn’t work for you, CampusBooks is another great option. On this site, you can type in the name of the book you’re looking for, and it will show you upfront what condition the book is in (new, used, etc.), if it’s available for rent or not, the price of the book itself, the shipping price, if there are any coupons available, and the overall price of the book+shipping. It shows multiple bookstores that have the book in stock, so it’s easy to explore and find the best price for you. 

Other Students

Other students are a GREAT resource for purchasing textbooks! Selling/trading books is something that’s done a lot on Welch’s campus. When a student is done with a book or semester, they typically post the books they’re trying to get rid of so that other students have the opportunity to save some money!

If you’re an incoming freshman, or even a current student looking for books, talk to other students! Most people don’t actually care about the money aspect of it and are more interested in getting the material off their hands to free up space. Welch students share a lot of the same books regardless of major, so there’s a good chance that they already have a book you’re looking for, and will sell it to you for cheap or maybe even give it to you for free!

In terms of selling textbooks, all of the resources I mentioned earlier are good for that as well! My personal recommendation is to check with any current or incoming students to see if they need any of the books you have BEFORE selling them back through a website (mainly because you won’t have to possibly pay for shipping, and you can get the book off of your hands almost immediately). 

I hope this helps! If you’re a current student and have any other tips for textbooks, let us know! 

Kenae Briggs, Welch College, Gallatin, TN

Kenae Briggs is a Senior at Welch College majoring in Psychology.  Kenae has worked for the enrollment department throughout her time at Welch as a Student Rep and as a Summer Representative traveling to camps throughout the US. Kenae is an avid Welch Flames fan and can always be seen supporting her classmates.

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