SIFE: Textbook time

U-News Staff

UMKC SIFE returns to give advice on financial topics for college students.

According to the College Board, a student at a four-year public university averages $1,168 on textbooks and supplies each semester.

However, there are several ways to cut textbook costs.

Shop the Bookstore


College bookstores have a reputation for significantly marked-up prices. However, bookstores offer a few conveniences.


Purchasing books right away allows students to get a head start on readings and to avoid shipping costs.

Buying textbooks via student charge is a popular option. The charge is capped at $1,000 per semester. Like any type of credit, it must be paid back and accrues interest. Charge balances must be paid by the end of the semester.


The bookstore has an online store where students can view prices and the estimated time of arrival of books from several online websites.

Shop online


Purchasing online is another viable option for cheaper textbooks. Popular sites to buy, rent or sell textbooks include, and Chegg allows students to buy used or new books and offers rental options. gives free shipping for orders of at least $25. not only sells textbooks, but college apparel, Blu-Ray discs and regular books with free shipping for rental returns and orders of at least $59.

In part of the UMKC network on Facebook, one can find groups buying, selling or trading textbooks.


Do both

A third option is to buy from the bookstore using the student charge option and order the same books online. Once the books have shipped, return the books from the bookstore by the Sept. 5 deadline for a full refund.