Renting Textbooks

What are your thoughts on renting textbooks for pre-med classes? The school I am attending has a rental program that is less that HALF the cost of the book.

In my first undergrad degree I rarely relied on the textbooks…and never went back to reference them in future terms. But, I’m thinking it may be different with the basic chemistry, physics and bio books (since I’ll be studying things bases on these topics for the next decade or so).

So I’m wondering about your thoughts/experiences…should I shell out the full $400 for new/used books? OR rent for $140?

I knew several people in my pre-med courses who rented the textbooks. It worked fine for them.

In retrospect, I might have done the same. While I thought I would go back and review the textbooks while studying for the MCAT, I never did. Ever. I used my MCAT review books and online resources, because MCAT questions are really NOT like in-class questions. This also may depend on how you are for money. $400 versus $140 is a big deal for most students, though.

Hope this help!

Renting’s not a bad idea – books can be so expensive! A couple of other cheap alternatives – a lot of times, the publisher of books will produce an “international edition” which is basically the exact same book with a different cover (usually paperback) for a fraction of the price. The page numbers and everything else are exactly the same, including access codes to online material – you can often find these on ebay.

Also, a lot of schools have Facebook groups (or some other online forum) where students sell their books from the previous year/semester. It’s generally a much better deal than the campus bookstore’s buy-back program. I was able to get a package deal for most of my textbooks + MCAT materials for a steal from another premed – and then turned around and sold them to another premed when I was done with them. :slight_smile:

Textbooks are such a racket IMO. If possible, purchase an outdated edition, used, on Amazon. For example, Nivaldo Tro’s Gen Chem textbook goes for 200+ for the 3rd edition, and around 150 used. But the 2nd edition can be had for 15 bucks used. Of course, if your instructor issues online homework, you’ll have to purchase the code separately but I suspect even that would run cheaper than renting.

You can also buy international editions at a fraction of the cost (30%). I use a website to do so, so if you want the address, I can PM it (as to respect the ad policy of the forum).

I have bought almost all my books as international edition. As an example, in med school (year 2), I had to buy Robbins Pathology 9th edition. It runs at about $95 new in the US. I bought it for $32 online, new and even came with an online access code. The shipping was free it took 2 days literally , like amazon prime!

I encourage you to explore the purchase of international edition. It will save you a ton.