Textbook Scholarships and Other Ideas to Help You Pay for Your Textbooks

textbook scholarships

When you applied to college, you probably knew that your university tuition would be incredibly expensive

But did you ever think about how expensive your textbooks would be? The cost of your textbooks does, unfortunately, add up and this can wreak havoc on your bank account. 

So what can you do to save money? The obvious answer is to look for cheap textbooks, secondhand books, rent textbooks, etc.

But have you ever considered looking for textbook scholarships? Have you ever heard of textbook scholarships?

We won’t be surprised if you haven’t. But these are a great way to earn money to purchase textbooks.

What Are Textbook Scholarships?

We all apply fervently for scholarships to earn money to pay for our college tuition. We also encourage you to look for textbook scholarships so that you can save even more money when purchasing or renting your textbooks.

Here’s what you should know about textbook scholarships and receiving money for textbooks:

1. Federal Student Loans

If you haven’t already, you can apply for a federal student loan. This means that if you qualify you may receive a loan from the government that can go toward your university expenses. You can use this money for purchasing or renting your textbooks.

You usually qualify for these loans if your overall income is below a certain threshold – which will be detailed on the application. You will find low-interest rates and a flexible plan to pay your loan back.

2. Private Student Loans

If you are unable to secure a federal student loan, your next option is to apply for a private student loan.

If you have a good credit score, you can consult your bank or another lender to apply for a private student loan. This would also allow you to spend your loan on your textbooks. 

Make sure you ask about the interest rates and any possible payment plans of paying back your student loan. You want to make sure that you can easily afford it before taking the loan.

3. The Helping Hands Book Scholarship

If you prefer to skip a loan and go straight to a scholarship, you’ll want to consider the Helping Hands Book Scholarship. This is a scholarship that is offered twice per year. The deadline for the Fall Semester is to apply by July 15. The deadline for the Winter Semester is to apply by December 15.

You will receive from $100 to $1,000 for the semester to use for your textbooks. You will have to fill out a short application, pay a low fee (usually $5), and submit a resume and current transcript.

Even if you qualify for a loan, we recommend applying for the scholarship. The more money that you have, the better your chance of saving money on your textbooks.

4. Carl A. Scott Book Memorial Fund Scholarship

This scholarship is targeted toward minority students (Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American) who have shown a commitment toward social justice. If the student is pursuing a degree in Social Work, they have a greater chance of receiving the scholarship.

You will receive a $500 scholarship to pay for your textbooks. You need to have a grade point average of at least 3.0 to apply. The scholarship is provided by the Council on Social Work Education.

5. The Passageway Scholarship Program

This scholarship program is targeted toward neglected and troubled youth. This not only offers scholarships but also offers book grants to help pay for your textbooks.

This scholarship works for four-year universities, trade schools, as well as to community colleges. 

It has been revolutionary in helping disadvantaged students in changing their lives around by making it easier for them to attend university and make books more affordable.

6. Barnes and Noble Scholarships

Barnes and Noble offer $500 scholarships each semester that can go toward your textbooks. This scholarship is funded by corporate philanthropy funds. 

This is available for undergraduate students who have a GPA of above 2.0 The students must also show that financial aid is needed (as they need to prove when filing for a Federal Student Loan). 

Different university campuses provide these scholarships and may provide an opportunity multiple times during a semester.

You can combine this scholarship with as many other scholarships as possible. As the requirements are not very rigid, we would strongly recommend applying for this option.

7. NACE Book Scholarship Program

If you are a student member of NACE, you are eligible to apply for its book scholarship program. These scholarships are worth up to $1,000. These are specifically available for graduate students.

One will need an above-average grade point average and provide two letters of recommendation when applying for the scholarship. It is available for North American and International students.

If you happen to be a student member of NACE, we strongly recommend that you apply for this book scholarship program.

8. Casimiro Foundation Book Scholarships

This is another unique scholarship program. If you are a business student at a two-year or four-year university, you can qualify for a book scholarship from the Casimiro Global Foundation.

Students who are eligible must have a grade point average above a 2.0 The scholarship is available for part-time and full-time students. The financial needs of the student are also considered and the students with greater needs are more likely to receive a scholarship.

You should reach out to your campus financial aid office to see if they have any specific information regarding this scholarship. Business students often have some of the most expensive textbooks, so it behooves all of them to apply for this scholarship.

9. Other Ways to Save

Finally, we continue to recommend that you look at the many options to save money on your textbooks. Consider borrowing textbooks from students who have already taken the course.

Consider purchasing or renting secondhand textbooks. If the digital version of the textbook is cheaper, we suggest that you opt for this – no matter how much a printed copy may entice you!

Grab Your Books

Now that you know the textbook scholarships and other ways to save for your textbooks, you should start applying and get the money to grab your books!

Be sure to read more great articles on textbooks and how to survive college!


Why Are Textbooks so Expensive? Here’s an Explainer

why are textbooks so expensive

The average student will spend around $40,000 a year on college tuition. For private colleges, this figure can be even higher. You would think those astronomical figures would be enough to worry about.

However, the cost of required textbooks for your course can run into hundreds of dollars. The average cost for student textbooks for the 2018-2019 academic year was $415. The College Board stipulates that students should factor in around $1240 annually for textbooks and supplies. 

This isn’t even the worst part! Some students on courses such as science and medicine can find that one single textbook can cost in the region of an eye-watering $300.  

So why are textbooks so expensive? And what can you do to combat this? In this article, we will explain the reasoning behind this and give you some top tips to help with this hefty college textbook bills.

Why Are Textbooks So Expensive?

In short, this is to do with the publisher’s motivations to make a profit. Publishers of college textbooks are in the unique position of students and colleges needing to buy their books so they can charge exorbitant rates.

The fact remains that the academic publishing industry is not a saturated market whatsoever. There are five main publishers in the industry and they control 80% of the total sales. With such a huge margin and so few competitors, it’s in their interest to keep costs high, as students have no choice but to buy them. 

The publishers also work closely with their academic writers and professors, constantly churning out new content and editions to render previous textbooks obsolete.

Professors and academics are also under quotas and external pressures to keep getting new publications to ensure their tenure or their position at a university. 

Publishers capitalize on this unfortunate pressure in the academic world, allowing them to continue to create new books. This, in turn, will force students into having to purchase the newer editions to complete their studies.

It is an endless cycle of intellectual content that is academia, and not something that will change anytime soon.

College libraries also suffer because they simply cannot afford to purchase these books in the quantities the students need. At most, if budgets allow, they might be able to buy three or four of a certain textbook.

But say if there are thirty or forty students in a class, that is nowhere near enough textbooks to go around. Which then forces students into purchasing the textbook at a high cost. 

Are Textbooks Getting Even More Expensive?

In some cases, the unfortunate answer is yes. The problem being access codes and bundles which are sold alongside the textbooks to access online content. The access codes or login details are then only redeemable until the end of the semester.

After that, they are rendered useless without the correct codes which means students can’t resell their textbooks or buy one secondhand. Up to 4 out of 10 colleges have used bundles or access codes alongside their prescribed academic textbooks.

This is not good news for students who are trying to keep their overall costs down.

Legislation and College Professors  

In 2006, the Advisory Committee for Student Financial Assistance reported that the cost of student textbooks had risen by 186% in the past eight years. This extreme hike in price was even noticed by legislators and steps were put in place to try and address the issue.

In 2008, a law was passed known as the Textbook Affordability Act where textbook publishers had to disclose to faculty and professors how much each of their textbooks cost. It is a step in the right direction for college students and their costs, but some people still believe this isn’t enough. 

This visibility and transparency have helped in some respects. By allowing professors and departments access to the prices they can make their own decisions on which textbooks to allocate their students.

This is in good faith that they will choose textbooks that aren’t extraordinarily overpriced or beyond students’ means and budgets.

This initiative has been helpful to some extent, but it is, of course, dependent on the whims of the individual professors and faculty. The law is leaving the responsibility firmly in the hands of the colleges, as opposed to the publishers. 

So What Can You Do About Increasing Textbook Costs?

Do you want to be one of those students who are having to forgo lunch, meals out, or be left with no disposable cash at the end of every week? Shelling out on massive textbooks that you are going to use for one semester doesn’t make any logical sense.

The best thing to do to save money on your textbooks is to thoroughly price check before you buy.

Here at TextbookRentals.com we provide a thorough price comparison book rental service that allows you to price check on thousands of different books. You can search for any book via its ISBN number, title or author, and price compare different rental options found through our engine.

You’re then able to rent your books for a limited time, for a limited fee from the recommended rental providers listed by our price comparison website. This can save you hundreds of dollars for money that you can spend on yourself, instead of gathering dust on a shelf.

You’ll see the cheapest option first, and find 3 different rental date ranges. These ensure you can rent your book for a full semester, 90 days, or less than 90 days. However long you need a book for, our comparison service will show you the best rental options for you.

Where Can I Find out More?

We hope this article has given you enough information and food for thought about increasing textbooks prices and why they are so expensive. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t look like things will be changing anytime soon.

If you would like to find out more, why not check out our previous blog posts?

We’re dedicated to ensuring all students have access to simple, easy-to-understand information on textbook rental prices, however long they need them for.