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Textbook Affordability Information - For Students

What Can You Do?


Visit the AACC Bookstore to obtain the most current, accurate textbook information. We begin posting titles at least six weeks before each major term. Our information comes directly from AACC faculty and departments, so you can be sure it's correct.

Shopping early gives you the opportunity to search AACC bookstore, as well as the marketplace, for the best price and availability of new and used textbooks.


The AACC Bookstore is one source for textbooks (we admit, it's our favorite!), but you can also buy textbooks from other students, online new and used book retailers, publishers and commercial retail bookstores. Here are some points to remember while shopping:

  • Verify the ISBN in addition to the title, author, edition and publication date. The ISBN is the key identifier of a title, and is the best information to use when searching the marketplace for your textbooks. Every different variant of a book (textbook alone, bundled with an access code, budled wih a study guide, new edition, etc.) comes with a different ISBN. Using the ISBN ensures you get the specific book requested by AACC faculty and/or department. We list ISBNs on our site. If you have trouble finding the ISBN, ask bookstore staff or your instructor.

  • Buy used when possible. Used books typically save you around 25% off the cost of a new textbook.

  • Check "Books for Sale" postings on campus bulletin boards. Remember, there are no refunds when making a peer-to-peer purchase, so VERIFY THE ISBN!

  • If buying from an online bookseller, shop with a reputable source. Factor in shipping costs and shipping time. It's best to avoid instructor and international editions. You may not be able to use the text in class, and you definitely won't be able to sell the book back.

  • Find out in advance what happens if you drop the course or decide you don't want or need the book - can you get your money back, and will it cost you anything extra to do so? We offer a very flexible return policy, allowing you to return your textbooks up to three weeks after the start of classes if you have your receipt and your texts are in their original condition.

  • Buy e-Texts. e-Texts are less expensive than hard copies, and often come with the ability to search content by keyword/phrase, add comments, create bookmarks, and in some cases even come with free access to additional online materials. Be cautious, though. Most eTexts are rentals, not purchases. Your access will expire after a period of time unless you pay specifically for perpetual access. There is no resale value.

  • Bundles can be bargains, but you may find that your textbook is "bundled" in a shrink-wrapped package with other learning materials such as a study guide, software, or an access code. If you have a choice between buying a textbook by itself or in a package, be sure you will need all of the materials in the package. While these extra learning materials can be of great value, they are non-returnable once opened. If you have questions about buying a bundle, get input from your instructor or bookstore staff. It's also important to compare prices between the bundled and unbundled versions of the materials. It's often cheaper to buy a new bundle than to buy a used text and a separate access code.


  • If you have access to an older edition of the textbook, check with your instructor to see if you can use it instead of buying the most current version.

  • Pool your resources with other students and try sharing a textbook. You may need to work out how to split the cost, how best to share time and decide on the disposition of the text at the end of the term but this may be a good option. An added benefit - you could turn your sharing group into a study group.

  • The Truxal Library has a limited pool of current textbooks on reserve. They must be used in the library, but if you don't need to have the book at home or with you in class this is a free resource available to you. It can also be a great way to use the book on a trial basis to see if you really want to buy a copy.

  • Free is good! Some titles, especially classics such as works by Shakespeare, may be available online for free. One source is Project Gutenberg. There is also an ever-increasing open textbook movement making quality materials available for low or no cost.


Sell back unwanted texts at the end of the term. Check with us to see if the AACC Bookstore is buying back your texts; we will pay up to 50% of the new book price. You can also check online buyback services (watch for shipping fees on some sites) or list your books through online classifieds.

As when buying books, posting your used books on "Used Books for Sale" campus bulletin boards to sell your books directly to another student is an option. There is a "Textbook Exchange" board outside of the Arnold bookstore reserved solely for student postings.