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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 the Textbook Affordability Program (TAP), see TAP Information for Students.

Textbooks and course materials can be purchased in the Store or online at Store.Swarthmore.edu. See How to Buy Textbooks for more information.

You may place multiple orders for textbooks. If you are unsure about some of your classes, you can purchase books for the classes about which you are certain, and purchase books for the remaining classes later.

Textbook Orders and Deadlines

  • Prior to each semester, the Campus & Community Store will announce the textbook purchase dates and deadlines for the semester.
  • Students should purchase all course materials by the first week of class, in order to support academic excellence.  Textbooks, especially used print copies, are expected to sell out early in the semester.

Backordered Books

  • If a textbook is not on the Store shelves, the student should place an order online.  Textbooks received in the Store after the first day of class will be used to fill online orders and backorders.
  • The student will be notified by email 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. Once the student receives an order confirmation, the purchase is complete and the backorder can no longer be cancelled.

Special Orders for Textbooks

  • Special Orders for 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 Store.Swarthmore.edu. The Student may use their TAP credit to prepay for the special order.  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.  Recommended and optional books are not stocked in the Store, and must be ordered online at Store.Swarthmore.edu.
  • Most special orders will be available for pickup in the Store within 3 to 7 days.
  • Textbooks for Thesis, Capstone, Independent Study, Directed Reading, and Tri-Co Philly may be ordered by emailing [email protected] with your requested book list.

Returns for Credit / Refund

  • Return of materials must follow Store textbook return policies.
  • Printed textbooks are returnable for credit through the day posted on the Store's website, usually the last day of drop-add.
  • To be returned for credit, the book must be accompanied by its receipt.
  • Print books must be returned in the same condition as when purchased.  Shrink-wrapped books must have the shrink-wrap intact.
  • Print books bundled with digital materials are governed by the digital materials return policy, see below.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.
  • 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 the rented item is not returned by the rental returns deadline, or if any part of the rented item is heavily marked, damaged or missing.
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