The USF Bookstores provide students with multiple on-campus, cost-saving textbook options including used, rental, and digital textbooks and course materials. Here are 7 ways to save money when purchasing course materials at the USF Bookstore:

1. Buy What is Needed

Not all course materials are created equal; knowing the difference between the types of materials at the USF Bookstore can help save students money. As a safe rule, always refer to a course’s syllabus if unsure!

      • Required: these materials are necessary for the course.
      • Recommended: these materials were suggested by the instructor and may be helpful but are not necessary to be successful in the class. Purchase only if desired.
      • Suggested: these items (often classroom supplies like notecards and pens) may be useful for the class but are not must-haves. Purchase only if desired.
      • Choice: students can pick their preferred version of an item; one option is usually required for the course. Be sure to check with the instructor for more information.

2. Buy Used Textbooks

Students can save money by selecting used print books, instead of purchasing new ones. These books have been used before by another student for at least one semester and are sold at discounted rates.

3. Rent Textbooks

The USF Bookstore’s rental program allows students to save up to 80% off the price of a new textbook. Renting allows students to highlight and take notes in their textbook during the semester, then return it after finals week. Students can often buy the book at the end of the term as well. Learn more about textbook rentals here.

4. Buy Digital Textbooks

Purchasing digital course materials can save students up to 80% off the price of a new print textbook. Ebooks are almost always less expensive than print books and feature the same material (sometimes ebooks even include bonus content like audio clips, videos, quizzes, and more). Students also have more flexibility with ebooks and can read them anywhere using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Learn more about digital textbooks here. 

5. Know What Comes with an Access Code

These single-use codes give students access to online homework, study, and test systems. Many times, access codes include an ebook. However, every publisher is different and it’s important to know what is included to ensure students do not buy more than they need. Learn more about digital content and access codes here.

6. Sell Textbooks Back to the Bookstore

Students who purchase new or used print books through the USF Bookstore can sell their books back for cash after finals week during the “buyback” period. As long as the book is in good, usable condition, it can be sold back for as much as 50% of the original price. Learn more about textbook sellback here.

7. Price Match to Lower the Cost

The USF Bookstore price match program is for textbooks (rental, used and new only) that are currently in-stock on the bookstore website as well as the competitor site. 

Prices are matched against Amazon, Barnes & Noble or a local campus competitor. Exclusions and restrictions apply, learn more about price matching here.


Visit the USF Bookstore campus websites for more information: