Augsburg faculty choose course materials that will best support student learning and help students be successful in their classes. Faculty understand the costs associated with course materials, and they can work with you to make sure you get them. Many options below can work out if you check in with your faculty.
Finding the Right Text for Your Course
- Identify the ISBN so you look for the right textbook. The ISBN is a 13-digit numerical code (e.g. 9781119308843). When you sign up for the course, required textbooks are listed on the course description, which includes the ISBN number.
- Go to the Augsburg Bookstore website and get information about the text as well as rental options.
- Consider international editions that are sometimes less expensive. The chapters may be arranged a bit differently, but it is, in essence, the same book. Talk with the faculty member before purchasing to make sure it is an appropriate textbook.
- Ask the faculty member if you may purchase an older edition of the book and still keep up with the class.
Options for Textbooks: Borrow, Rent, and Share
- Talk with the faculty member teaching your course about borrowing a copy if one is available (some faculty get a free copy).
- Find out if the book is on reserve in the Lindell Library and how many copies there are; ask your faculty to put a copy on reserve in the library. Please note: Checkout periods for reserved books are shorter than normal, sometimes just hours or days, to ensure that they are available to the largest number of students in a class. The professor of the class specifies the loan period.
- Research to find out if the book exists at a library in Minnesota that you can check out. Talk with Augsburg library staff if you need assistance.
- Consider renting instead of purchasing.
- Talk with classmates about book sharing, which helps spread the cost between multiple students.
Open a Bookstore Account
- Students who are registered for the upcoming term are provided an Augsburg bookstore account of $750 for bookstore purchases: books, class supplies, and a discounted semester bus pass.
- Bookstore accounts close at the end of the third week of classes.
- Bookstore accounts are intended for students who have excess financial aid funds to cover their tuition, fees, plus their books or supplies. If you don’t have enough aid to cover all bookstore purchases, and your bookstore charges create a balance due on your account, you will need to pay for those charges in accordance with your statement due dates. Contact Student Financial Services (612-330-1046) before you purchase books if you need to discuss payment options.
- Bookstore accounts can only be used at certain times at the beginning of each semester. Visit the Student Financial Services website for more information and when you may use a bookstore account in accordance with the financial aid cycle.
Purchasing/Renting a Text
- Shop early! The earlier you start looking for textbooks for the next term, the better. You’ll have more options and if you encounter any problems with your text, you’ll have plenty of time to resolve them before the semester begins. You may even find prices are lower, especially in the summer.
- Go to the Augsburg Bookstore website to check on the ISBN number and rental options.
- The university bookstore will price-match textbook prices from first-party vendors like Amazon.
- Search the internet for used copies or a better price. Be sure to only purchase textbooks from reputable sellers and check their reviews before purchasing or renting.
- If you need to access an online homework module (e.g. MyMathLab, Aplia) for your course, most used copies of textbooks do not include working access codes. Be aware that it may be less expensive to buy a new copy of the text bundled with the online access code than it would to buy a used text and the access code separately.
- Know the store return policy. If you’re unsure about a course and think you may switch at the beginning of the semester, purchasing or renting from a retailer with a good return policy could save you a lot of money.
- As you plan your classes for next semester, ask faculty if they would email students who took the same class in the fall to see if they have books they would lend or sell at a discount.
- Many book buy-back programs do not offer substantial payments for used books. When you buy directly from students, they get more money back, and you get a better price.
- Determine how to budget for books next semester. Research what texts you may need for each course as far ahead as possible.
Reserve Books Through Interlibrary Loan
Students can research books for possible interlibrary loan through their library account. Lindell Library is happy to help students possibly get the book for no charge. Please note: The check out periods are set by each lending institution, usually 4-6 weeks, not the full semester.