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Pros and Cons of Renting MSW Textbooks


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Hello, all!

As we all prepare for our chosen MSW programs, I thought it would be beneficial to discuss and seek advice about renting versus buying textbooks. As an undergraduate student I bought every textbook and spent hundreds of dollars a semester on them. I rarely used them again after that semester.

In regard to graduate school, I know that many of my MSW books will be beneficial in the future and are worth purchasing, but I'm not entirely sure which ones I should purchase. As most students can agree, I'm on a budget and would like to save as much money as possible. I've been accepted into a two year, 60-credit hour program that begins in August. My first year is mainly foundation courses: Social Welfare History and Policy Analysis, Human Behavior and Social Environments, Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families, Social Work Practice with Groups, and Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations.

Since my first semester is all foundation work (clinical and specialized courses begin second year), is it worth purchasing all of the books or renting? Or both?

Any insight would be fantastic!

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If you rent the textbook, you must return it in similar condition. When you buy the textbook, you can write notes and highlight inside it since it belongs to you. If you plan to re-sell it, it's best to leave it in like new or very good condition (minimal highlighting) for optimal resale price.

Edited by michigan girl
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I usually try to get digital versions of everything. For me, it's easier to carry, easier to read on mass transit, and I don't have to worry about it's upkeep (ie: spilling stuff on it). I don't usually write/highlight books, so renting isn't problematic for me.

Since I'm a macro student... I am borrowing my DSM-V from a friend. I probably won't need it in the future. That's how I look at books.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I would probably just rent the first year texts.  I say this because once you understand the foundation of social work, anything you will need to review in the future can easily be found on the internet. Also, if you find that the text is really amazing, you can always purchase it at a later date.  I competed my BSW years ago and bought all of my texts (theory, group work, etc). I think I opened them up maybe twice afterwards only to find the examples to be dated and no longer relevant to the world we live in today.

However having said that, I am entering the one year MSW program (advanced standing) and plan on buying the majority of my textbooks.

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