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Textbook Policies

This document outlines the Swarthmore Campus & Community Store’s general textbook policies, including return policies.  For policies specific to TAP, see TAP Information for Students.

If you will be on campus, you must still pre-order your textbook and course materials online.  The store will be open, but the textbook department will be closed to students. On your order, indicate “pick-up” to pick it up in the Store and avoid shipping charges. Textbook Pick-Up Dates and Times will be announced.

If you are remote, order your course materials online for immediate shipment.  Shipping can be charged to your TAP fund.

Order as early as possible, in order to receive your books by the first day of class. If you are unsure about some classes, we recommend placing a book order for the classes for which you are certain, and placing an additional order later if necessary.  You may place multiple orders for textbooks, and you can charge the shipping cost to your TAP fund each time.

Textbook Orders and Deadlines

  • Prior to each semester, the Campus & Community Store will announce the order dates and deadlines for the semester.
  • The Store will attempt to have required textbooks ready for purchase before the first day of class each semester, as long as the faculty member specified the title by their deadline. 
  • Students should purchase all course materials as early as possible in order to support academic excellence.  Textbooks, especially used print copies, are expected to sell out early in the semester.

Backordered Books

  • Backordered titles: The student will be notified if a specific title is on backorder.  Most backordered titles arrive in the Store within a week.  If a student no longer wishes to keep the item on backorder, email [email protected] with the 4-digit order code and the exact title, and ask to have the backorder cancelled. Note that once the backordered title is packed or shipped, the student will receive an order confirmation, and the backorder can no longer be cancelled.

Special Orders for Required and Non-Required Textbooks

  • Special Orders for Required Textbooks: If a required title is not available to order when the student purchases their textbooks, or is added to a course’s list later, the student may prepay a special order in the Store or online at The Student may use their TAP credit to prepay for the special order if the text is required.  Note that the Store will not be able to special order books that are out of print or out of stock at the publisher.
  • Special Orders for Non-Required Textbooks: The Store’s order website includes titles that the faculty designated as recommended or optional, rather than required, and which are not covered by TAP.  If a non-required textbook is included on an order charged to TAP, the non-required textbook will be cancelled from the order.  Students should place a separate order containing only the non-required title, and choose a form of payment other than TAP.
  • Special Orders, Delivery.  Most special orders arrive in the Store within 3 to 5 days. The Store will refund the prepayment at the student’s request if the book does not arrive for Store pick-up within 7 business days.  Allow additional shipping time for Special Orders that are shipped to the student after arriving in the Store.  

Returns for Credit / Refund

  • Return of materials purchased through the TAP fund must follow Store textbook return policies, which are posted at / Course Materials / Return Policy.  Printed textbooks are returnable for credit through the last day of drop-add.
  • Students on campus may return their books to the Store in person.
  •  Remote students, you may return your books for credit by shipping them to:  Swarthmore Campus & Community Store, 4 South Chester Road, Swarthmore PA  USA 19081.  Your package must be postmarked by the last day of drop-add, and include your name and the 4-digit order number(s) under which the books were ordered.  Note that the cost of shipping a book return back to the Store is not covered by TAP funds.  
  • When a student returns a textbook for credit, the textbook’s purchase or rental price will be credited back to the student’s original form of payment.  Course materials purchased using the TAP fund will be credited back to the student's TAP fund, and cannot be returned for cash or other tender.
  • Digital materials such as access codes and eBooks must be returned within 14 days of purchase or by the Store’s return deadline for the semester, whichever is first, and cannot be returned once they have been downloaded.

Returning Rented Books 

When a textbook is rented, the receipt will show the rental return deadline, usually the last day of final exams.

  • If you don’t return a Swarthmore Campus & Community Store rental by the deadline, student will only be charged the purchase price minus the rental price the student already paid, with no late fees or penalties.  That amount can be charged to the student’s TAP funds. The student then owns the book.
  • When deciding whether to rent a book, consider the possible cost of return shipping if the student will be remote at the end of the semester.  Students are responsible for returning the rented book back to the Store by the deadline, whether bringing it in person or shipping it back.  Return shipping of rented books is not covered by TAP funds.

Rental Agreement

You have entered into a rental agreement with the Swarthmore Campus & Community Store to loan you for the current semester one or more course materials, as indicated on your receipt. By paying for the rental, you indicate your acceptance of the following agreement:

  • I understand that this rented item is the property of the Store.
  • I will not reproduce any part of this course material. Rental course materials are copyrighted as the intellectual property of the author(s).
  • I will return this course material in appropriate condition reflecting reasonable use, with minimal writing, highlighting, or notes.
  • I agree to be billed for and pay the full publisher’s price of the material if any part of the rented item is heavily marked, damaged or missing.
  • I agree to be billed for and pay the full publisher’s price of the material if any part of the rented item is heavily marked, damaged or missing.
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