During Spring 2022, Merced College will be offering students free textbook rentals. We want to help you save money during these unprecedented times and focus on learning on day one without worrying about buying your textbooks for class. Additionally, the free textbook rental program is a pilot to a more comprehensive textbook rental program starting in summer/fall 2022, which will provide students their textbooks for a $25 per unit fee.
1 How does the pilot program work?
The pilot program provides free textbook rentals to students who register in credited courses for the Spring 2022 semester.
Once you have registered for courses, we will automatically send your course list to the Merced College Bookstore and they will get your textbooks ready. You will receive an email when your course textbooks are prepared. Then all you need to do is pick them up! Some rentals will be digital, and some will be physical.
2 Who qualifies for free textbooks for the spring 2022 pilot program?
Merced College will be providing free textbooks to any student who registers in the Spring 2022 semester for credited courses. This includes:
- New and returning students
- Full-time students
- Part-time students
- Recent high school graduates
- Working adult students
- Military veteran students
- Undocumented students
- International students
3 How do I become a student?
Take the first step by visiting Merced College. We will help you enroll!
4 What types of course textbooks will I receive?
Depending on the course textbook(s) your professor requires, you will receive free digital or physical textbook rentals for your course.
5 What if I receive a digital book and would prefer a physical book?
In order to provide free textbooks and keep costs down for students, the lowest cost option for each section will be provided. If you receive a digital book and would like a physical copy, we will offer alternative formats for purchase at the Merced College Bookstore.
6 Does this program also include required course materials?
No, this pilot program does not include course materials—it only includes required textbooks. If your course requires materials (art supplies, vocational equipment, etc.), then you still need to purchase these materials as part of your enrollment in the class. Most required course materials can be purchased in the Merced College Bookstore.
7 What do I do if I add or drop a class?
- Digital textbooks: If you add a course, your new textbooks will be available to you in approximately 24 hours. If you drop a class with a digital book, access to the book will be automatically removed.
- Physical textbooks: If you add a course, you will receive an email from the Merced College Bookstore when your physical textbooks are ready for pickup. You are required to return print books for courses you drop to the Merced College Bookstore. They must be returned within two weeks to avoid non-return fees. The books can either be brought back in-person or shipped back to the address below:
Merced College Bookstore
3600 M St.
Merced, CA 95348
If returning by mail, please include a note with your name, email address, student ID number, and phone number.
8 Will I save money?
Yes! Merced College will provide you free rental access to required course textbooks as part of the spring 2022 semester pilot program. You will not need to pay out of pocket since we are covering the cost of your rental. NOTE: The free pilot program is only for the spring 2022 semester. Starting in summer/fall 2022, students will be participate in the fee-based textbook rental program for $25 per unit (opt-out will be made available), which will make the cost of textbooks more affordable for the vast majority of students and provide you the textbook resources you need at the start of the semester.
9 How do I get my course textbooks?
- First, enroll now as a student at Merced College
- Once you have registered for courses, we will automatically send your course list to the Merced College Bookstore, and they will get your textbooks ready for you.
- You will receive an email from the bookstore when your course textbooks are ready. All you need to do is pick up your course textbooks. If you’re taking classes at Los Banos, your textbooks will be available for pickup at Los Banos. Store hours for our Los Banos and Merced College Bookstore locations.
- Some of your course textbooks will be available online in a digital format on Canvas (your online student portal).
- 10 I’m a registered student, how do I access my course textbooks in Canvas?
11 How long will the free textbooks program be available?
Free textbooks will be provided during Spring 2022. Information for Summer and Fall 2022 will be available soon, but as noted above, students will be participate in the fee-based textbook rental program for $25 per unit (opt-out will be made available) after the free pilot program.
12 If my professor has “recommended” (instead of “required”) course textbooks, will
those be included in the program?
Only textbooks identified by your professor or campus as “required” are included as part of the program. Any “recommended” textbooks will still be available for purchase at the Merced College Bookstore in-store or online.
13 What’s the difference between “required”, “recommended”, and “suggested” textbooks?
Required: it’s necessary for the course. Merced College will provide you free rental access to required course textbooks.
Recommended: the instructor has suggested an item that may be helpful. These textbooks will be available for purchase at the Merced College Bookstore
Suggested: these items are often purchased alongside the required textbook(s), or other students may have found the item useful. These textbooks will be available for purchase at the Merced College Bookstore.
14 What do I do after finals?
Physical textbooks provided for the Spring semester are rentals. You will receive emails to your student email address with a list of specific titles you will need to return to the Merced College Bookstore at the end of the semester. After finals, please return your textbooks to the bookstore by the following week. If you aren’t sure which books to return, bookstore staff can assist you.
15 I like keeping my textbooks at the end of the term. Can I do that with this program?
Our free textbook program for Spring semester is about saving you money and providing you free access to course textbooks. After the term is complete, return your physical course textbooks to the campus bookstore. If you wish to keep your course textbooks at the end of the semester, you can do so at the end of finals week by paying a fee at the Merced College Bookstore.
16 What if I already bought my textbooks?
For the spring 2022 term, if you purchased your textbooks through a private vendor or online retailer, we encourage you to return them. If you already purchased your textbooks through the Merced College Bookstore, you may return them for a full refund.
17 Can I write or highlight in my textbooks?
Yes, you can write or highlight in your textbooks, but please be careful to avoid water damage and excessive wear. We want students using these textbooks in future terms to have access to low cost rentals! At the end of the term, you are responsible for returning them to the Merced College Bookstore in good condition.
18 What if I need audio books due to accessibility accommodations?
Students can find more information about requesting alternative media on the Disabled Students Programs and Services page.
19 What if I’m not able to pick up my order and I need it shipped?
If you need your order shipped, you can purchase shipping on the Merced College Bookstore website . When you go through the checkout process, the system will temporarily add an additional shipping charge. When we process your order at the store, you remove the second shipping charge and you’ll receive a second email from us showing your final charge. Once we receive your order, we will collect your books from the pickup area and ship them to you. If you have any questions regarding shipping your books, please don’t hesitate to contact the bookstore at firstname.lastname@example.org.