Although my college days are temporarily behind me (I would love to go back and finish soon), the pain of paying for textbooks is still fresh in my mind. Every semester, I dropped at least $500 for books for a full course load. When I was in nursing school, it was even worse. Paying between $70 to over $200 for a book that you’ll only use for a few months (because, let’s be honest here, even though you swear you’ll go back and refer to them forever, you never really do) is just crazy. If you’re lucky, you can get used books at the campus bookstore, but those are available in such a limited supply that if you show up five minutes late, they’re gone. provides a great solution to the problem. Rather than buying your books at a huge markup through the campus bookstore, you can rent textbooks online through their service at savings up to 90%. They’ll ship the books to you for free and provide you with a return label so you can send it back when you’re done. They even let you highlight in the books, within reason of course. If you decide that you want to keep the book because you really are going to refer back to it throughout your studies, you’ll be charged the difference between your rental fee and the price of the book at the time it was rented. They also have a 30-day money back guarantee, so if you drop the class before that time is up, you’re not out any money.

There are tons of other benefits to renting your textbooks through, but the one that really appeals to me is their partnership with Operation Smile. This non-profit service helps provide cleft lip surgeries to children without access to medical insurance or other means of paying for the surgery. Did you know that a child is born with a cleft lip every three minutes? The condition not only interferes with the child’s ability to talk and socialize, but can also interfere with his ability to eat. Operation Smile has already provided over 200,000 surgeries, and has committed to providing enough funds to cover at least 1,000 more. A portion of every rental goes towards that goal.

So there you go! You can save a ton of money on textbooks and help a child receive a life-altering surgery at the same time. If I had known about when I was in college, I definitely would have gone the rental route. I have bins of textbooks that I kept “just in case” that are now collecting dust (plus they’re really heavy when you’re moving!) Check them out on Twitter as well, they often tweet out coupons and other great offers.



Save Money on Textbooks and Help a Child in Need