Textbook Buying Strategies

From Colleen Brown & Jennifer McDonald, Senior Academic Advisors, Exploratory Studies: 

It’s textbook buying season and students have a lot of questions.  When should you buy them?  How do you know what to buy?  Can they be returned if I change my mind?

Here is some information for you to consider about textbook purchases:

  • Always check the return policy at bookstores and/or Amazon before you buy a textbook.  Most have a very small window of time to return and most will not accepted any texts that have had the shrink-wrap plastic removed.  Knowing the return policy will save you money in case the professor changes his or her mind, you hate the class, or you bought the wrong edition of the book.
  • Some courses don’t require a text at all and some require other kind of materials – like a course pack (EDPS 10500 requires one).  We will be sending out emails about where and when to buy the EDPS 105 course pack in the coming week.
  • Some courses like ENGL 10600 will not require that you purchase your texts until the first week of classes.  Check the syllabus on the first day.
  • There are a lot of choices available to textbook buyers besides the standard “do I buy new or used?” question.
    • Consider renting your textbook, buying an e-version for your device or laptop, sharing with a trusted classmate or roommate (if you are in the same section), or seeing if the Purdue Libraries carry the text (use the advanced search and type in the title or author’s name).
    • If buying used, try to get your hands on the book as soon as possible to check for damage (like ripped out pages or marker covering key text).

When to buy your books:

  • It comes down to preference, but keep in mind a few things:
    • Some classes will not expect you to have purchased the books before the first day of class – though almost all classes will have assignments due on the second day of class!
    • Some courses like ENGL 10600 even ask you NOT to purchase their textbook until after your first class meeting.  Your instructor will keep you informed.
    • The downside to waiting to buy your books until after the first day of class is that the bookstores may run out of books (it happens).  If they do, you would have to wait, and borrow the book from classmates in order to not miss assignments.
    • The upshot?  If you are ancy, buy your books ahead of time, but know the return policy and don’t open any shrink-wrapped books or materials until after the first day of class.  If you are chill, wait until after the first day of class to buy books, but make sure you know which friends are in which classes so you can borrow texts, just in case.

How to find your textbooks and purchase them: 

  • MyTextbooks: Go to MyPurdue > Academic tab > My Textbooks link.  This is connected to Amazon’s Purdue Student Store.
  • Websites like the University Bookstore or Follett’s are also accurate places to check textbook requirements and good places to purchase or rent them.
    • You can also research these sites and then purchase them through the Purdue’s Student Store in Amazon or use something like Bookfinders.com to research booksellers to find the best price.
    • Buying your textbooks directly from the store (University Bookstore or Follett’s) with friends is a fun way to bond. Plus, you can check the condition of used books before you buy and get information about return policies, e-book, and rental options directly from the bookstore!
  • Manually searching MyPurdue’s Schedule of Classes:
    • Get out your Week at a Glance Fall 2015 schedule for reference
    • Go to the Schedule of Classes > Fall 2015 > Click on the Subject > Type in the Course Number > Choose your start and end time (a.m. or p.m.) > Choose your Days of the Week.
    • Make sure you are looking at the lecture or main section of the course.
    • Click on ‘Course Materials’ link to view required texts and materials.
  • DO pay attention to which edition of a book your instructor wants you to order. For example, a 2nd edition and 3rd edition will likely have different chapters, page numbers, and information.


The Challenge 5kRun/Walk (April 18) and Spring Fest (April 18 & 19)

April 18 The Challenge 5K run/walk supports innovative cancer research happening at the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research. Participants are invited to join us on April 18 at 8:30 a.m.  at Ross-Ade Stadium to help fight cancer. Purdue’s Head Football Coach, Darrell Hazell will start the race with a big bang! You will also find many of your favorite student athletes participating that morning. Learn more or register at  thepurduechallenge.com. Can’t make it? Sign up to “Sleep In”.

April 18 and 19:  Spring Fest is an annual event showcasing the lighter side of higher education. This free event is a great opportunity for students of all ages to learn about animals, art, astronomy, and much more in two full days of hands-on activities. It’s part education, part entertainment, and all fun! Activities run from 10-4 PM.

April 18

The Purdue football team will hold its annual spring game on Saturday, April 18. The Ross-Ade Stadium gates will open at noon, with kickoff set for 1 p.m. Take part in a pre-game Fan Fest event where fans can interact with the players. There is no admission charge for the game. Cancer survivors will have the opportunity to escort the team from the locker room to the field. All participants in The Challenge 5K run/walk will receive a special offer in their virtual race bag for deeply discounted tickets to the Purdue Hammer Down Cancer football game set for Sept. 26, 2015.

Remembering Their Journey- A post from an Exploratory Studies student

Hey there! We’re starting a few new series of blog posts on The Right Track. For those of you still in high school, you’re probably experiencing a lot of thoughts and feelings about college…you’re not the only one! In this series, “Remembering Their Journey”, we’ll hear from five current and former Exploratory Studies students. They’ll take a look back on their experience in high school,share their memories with you and chat about their college experiences thus far.

First up is Emily. Here’s her story:


                                    Emily S., freshman

“Senior year. So much stress and so much fun packed in a year. From going to football games, taking the SATs, prom, and applying to colleges; senior year is the busiest year in high school by far. Looking at colleges becomes your life. My friends and I all freaked out about applications and when we got our acceptance letters we all freaked out about which university to choose.

I had always been thinking Purdue because I live in Lafayette. When I actually started doing research I realized that Purdue was a good idea not only for the proximity, but because it is a great school. All throughout high school I was never sure on what major I wanted to pursue, so I saw that Purdue had a program called Exploratory Studies. I looked on their website and decided that going into Exploratory Studies would be the best option for me because I would be able to explore (no pun intended) different majors and really get an idea of what I would want to do.

Coming into Purdue I thought I wanted to major in Brain and Behavioral Sciences. I was actually really confident that was the major I wanted. Then I took a class about behavioral neuroscience and realized that being a neuroscientist required interaction with rats and I am not a fan of rats, so that major was out. I then started looking at Public Health at the insistence of a friend. Public Health has a really great job outlook, but I did not feel like I was really passionate about it. I was honestly only looking into it because it made a lot of money and I did not feel like that was a good enough reason to choose a major. I then started looking into Law and Society because I wanted to be a lawyer. I stuck with that for a while and one day at work I started watching a lot of history education videos on YouTube and my boss gave me the idea of majoring in History. Now, I am currently thinking of majoring in History.

Keep in mind that was all in my freshman year of college. I am SO glad that I chose Exploratory Studies because I would have changed my major three times in the span of five months, which could have been problematic. Now, I am taking a history class to make sure it is what I really want. I cannot recommend EXPL enough. The class, EDPS 105, you take helps you learn about the majors at Purdue and about yourself. It is so awesome to take a class with people who are just as indecisive as you. EXPL at Purdue was the perfect choice for me and I hope it is the same for you.

If I could give any advice to current seniors it would be to calm down and enjoy your last year while it is here. It goes by really fast. Take advantage of all the opportunities you can now.” – Emily S., freshman

Purdue’s Featured Organization of the Month- Musical Organizations

Hello Everyone!

My name is Susannah and I’m the newest contributor to the Exploratory Studies Blog. I’m so incredibly excited to share my experiences at Purdue with all of you and can’t wait to see what this year has in store!

One of the coolest things Purdue has to offer, besides awesome academic programs and school spirit, is the endless amount of organizations that students can be a part of. There are over 900 organizations at Purdue. From ballroom dancing, coffee club, Purdue Art Community, and College Mentors for Kids, Purdue has an organization for everyone! Also, if for some reason none of these organizations suit your interests, students can create and be in charge of their very own organization. Whether you join or start your own organization, everyone wins when they get involved!

The first organization that I’m exploring for the month of November is Purdue Musical Organizations. This organization is near and dear to my heart because I’m involved in University Choir, one of the five choirs the organization offers. PMO was first established in 1891 with the Purdue Varsity Glee Club being the first choir at Purdue. Over the years the organization has grown to be five choirs strong. These include the Purdue Varsity Glee Club, the Purduettes, University Choir, Heart and Soul, and the All Campus and Community Chorale.

Purdue Musical Organizations is internationally recognized for excellence in all aspects of musicianship. This excellence is proven in every show that the choirs perform. One of the most well known shows the organization performs annually is the Purdue Christmas Show. This year is the 80th Anniversary for the Christmas Show and is sure to be spectacular! Students, Faculty, and members of the community have spent countless hours preparing for the Purdue Christmas Show simply because they love to sing, perform, and are passionate about the organization. The Christmas Show is on December 7th with times at noon, 4pm, and 8pm, and December 8th at 2pm. Tickets start at just $26 for adults! This is a definite must-see for those of you who want to get into the Christmas spirit J

If you want more information about the Purdue Christmas Show or Purdue Musical Organizations, visit their website at: www.purdue.edu/pmo or stop in and visit one of the choir rehearsals going on at University Church on Grant Street. You may just see me there 🙂

Happy Fall!


P.S. T-minus three weeks until Thanksgiving!

Meet Our Ambassador Bloggers

With such a large campus, it’s hard to keep track of everything that happens at Purdue. We’ve gathered some of our Exploratory Studies Ambassadors to post once a month on certain topics. Let’s meet our  first 2 bloggers, shall we?

 Meet Madi Herman


Hometown: Needham, IN

Major: Psychology / Pre-Med

Year: Senior

Blogging topic: Classes galore at Purdue from how to pass the classes you’re in to what fun classes to take next semester. (or when you come to Purdue!)

Fun fact: I have been in karate for 13 years now. Even though I’m away at college I still stay involved.

Meet Sarah Kober


Hometown: Grand Haven, MI

Major: Biology

Year: Junior

Blogging topic: Clubs and Organizations

Fun fact: I studied abroad in New Zealand Spring 2013.


Stay tuned to meet the rest of our Ambassador Bloggers and check out our blog every week for their posts!

Learning Communities in the News!

Purdue has many Learning Communities students can be apart of during their first year. But some of you may be wondering, ‘What are Learning Communities?” Learning Communities, also known as LCs, are a group of 20-30 first year students who take two to three of the same courses together. They can also be a group of first year students who have a common academic interest and live in the same residence hall. Or it can be a combination of the two! In Exploratory Studies we have 3 types of LCs- Exploratory Studies Scholars, Explorers, and Exploring Business Majors.

A recent list has been released of the top LCs at colleges and universities around the country and Purdue made the list!

To read more about the ranking, visit  http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/learning-community-programs

To learning more about our LCs in Exploratory Studies visit the links below:

Exploratory Studies Scholars: http://www.purdue.edu/studentsuccess/orientation/learning_communities/profiles/undergradstudies/usp.html

Explorers: http://www.purdue.edu/studentsuccess/orientation/learning_communities/profiles/undergradstudies/explorers.html

Exploring Business Majors: http://www.purdue.edu/studentsuccess/orientation/learning_communities/profiles/undergradstudies/exploring_business.html