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Purchasing Your Books and Supplies

As a student here at Columbia you have several different options when it comes to purchasing your books and supplies and several ways to plan for this expense.  Begin by reviewing the Cost of Attendance Budgets for a listing of the average annual expense for books and supplies.  We recommend you become familiar with how this expense fits into your overall plan before you make any purchases.

Know what textbooks and supplies you need to purchase   

Visit the Course Catalog in the OASIS Portal for information on what textbooks are required by your professors every semester.

Price your textbooks

Textbooks are available in a variety of formats. It is important to explore these different options when pricing your textbooks. The Columbia College Bookstore is the only official Columbia College retailer located at 624 S. Michigan Avenue and provides new, used, rental, and digital textbook options. Students interested in used books must start their hunt early as these are usually the first to go. Online orders provide in-store pick up or shipping options. Get to know the Columbia College Bookstore by watching this short clip!

Purchasing a new book may be the option for you if you prefer to have clean pages to add your own personal notes and plan to keep it for your personal library. A new purchase also provides you access to computer codes.

The Columbia College Bookstore offers a large selection of used text books that are on average priced 25% less than the new book prices. This option can give you an insight on notes and highlights other students deemed important and is an environmentally green addition to your personal library!

35% of all text book titles offered at the Columbia College Bookstore are rentable and are priced 40%-60% off the new book price. The rental program alloys you to use the book for the entire semester with the option to purchase the book at anytime. You are able to treat the book as if it were you own by highlighting and adding notes. This is another environmentally green choice for access to your text books!

25% of all text book titles offered at the Columbia College Bookstore are available in digital format and are priced 40-60% off the new book price. You have the option to own or rent digital copies which can be used on any device that has internet access. Digital books feature highlights, auto-summary notes, and can also talk to others within the group. This environmentally green choice allows you to fashionably carry all your digital books in once device!

Price your supplies

Based on your program of study, you may be required to purchase supplies in addition to your textbooks. Items such as cameras, art supplies and computers are a necessity for some students and need to be budgeted for, as they can account for a significant portion of your books and supplies budget. Utilize our budget calculators to plan for this expense.

Expenses which will be a one-time purchase, such as a computer, should be thoroughly researched prior to purchasing. Talking to your professors and classmates may help aid you in your decision of what to purchase and when.

If you are interested in purchasing a computer, Columbia’s Computer Store offers discounts and promotions to Columbia College Chicago students and may have exactly what you need. Several printing facilities are also available on campus to assist students with their printing needs at deep discounts.

Purchase your Books and Supplies

After you have priced your books and supplies and know where to obtain these items, you are now ready to purchase. Please be aware there are several options you can utilize to cover these expenses: