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Be Book Smart: Information for Students

Textbooks are one of the largest expenses for students, after tuition, rent, and food. The University of Saskatchewan Bookstore recommends that students budget approximately $120 per course for textbooks, which amounts to $1200 per year for a full course load.  That’s a huge expense for most students!

In fact, textbooks account for 17.7% of the average student’s educational costs.  Considering the costs of textbooks are increasing at a rapid rate in excess of inflation, this percentage is likely to increase even more and place even more financial pressure on already over-burdened students.

How can I help?
We need engaged students to help with the campaign by discussing this issue one-on-one with instructors and by getting the message out to other students. We are trying to make this issue front and center everywhere on campus, and we can’t do it without you!

If you would like to be a key part of this campus-wide movement, and gain valuable experience in running an advocacy campaign, we would love to hear from you!  Please send an email to to get involved.

How can I save money now?

There are several ways to save money on your textbook purchases.  You might try the tips below:
  • Talk to your instructors about Open Access.  Instructors look for the materials they will use in April and May of the previous school year. Look at the Open Access options in our resources section and let your instructors know how they can save you money.
  • Buy used books.  It's the obvious answer, but is always effective. Check out Browsers in Upper MUB!
  • Try older editions.  Ask your instructor if an older edition is close enough to the current one. In some cases, this will help you find used books.
  • Shop around.  Try the Bookstore, Browsers, or any other retailer you can think of. These all sell used books as well.
  • Search the PAWS Classified Ads.  Search for used textbooks under the “Campus Life” tab.
  • Check the tunnel or public notice boards.  They’re often littered with bulletins advertising used books in various subjects.
  • Ask friends.  Borrow, share, or buy books from friends who have taken the same class.
  • Get creative.  Look for eBook options of the text or try to find international editions without the glossy, full-color pages.
  • Don’t buy at all.  Look for reserve copies in the library to sign out.

For additional information regarding textbook costs or the Be Book Smart campaign, check out our resources page. For answers to some commonly asked questions, please visit our FAQ page.

 Be Book Smart Spotlight:
Information for Students
Information for Faculty
Frequently Asked Questions


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