Frequently Asked Questions for Students about Textbook Rental Services:

Please refer to the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse Textbook Services Policy for specific details regarding Textbook Rental Services.  This FAQ web page highlights many of the commonly asked policy questions.

FAQ for Undergraduate Students

FAQ for Graduate Students


Undergraduate Students:

  1. Who can use Textbook Rental Services?
    All undergraduate students who pay segregated fees may use the services of textbook rental. Segregated fees for textbook rental services are included in your student billing; you do not pay anything when you pick up your books. Textbook Rental is not intended to provide all classroom materials for undergraduates.  Students may have to purchase a few items, such as lab manuals, workbooks, or paperbacks and these items will be available for purchase in the University Bookstore.  If you are required to purchase any materials, it will be noted on the booklist provided to you when you enter Textbook Rental Services to pick up your books!

  2. What will I need to bring when I pick up my books?
    Students will need to bring their student ID in order to check out any textbooks.  If you do not have a student ID, you must report to the TowerCard Office, Room 223 Cartwright Center, to obtain a temporary ID before you will be able to check out your books.  Bring your backpack too - you will need something to carry all your books! 

    Please note:  friends and family can not check out or return your books for you. You are the only one that can check out and return your books.

  3. How does Textbook Rental work?
    Textbook Rental Services is located in the basement of Cartwright Center next to the University Bookstore and is open regular business hours throughout the semester AND EXTENDED HOURS DURING RUSH.

    Upon entering Textbook Rental, students will scan their ID card to receive their booklist of required textbooks for the courses they are enrolled in. Textbook Rental is self-service so you will then proceed to gather your textbooks from the stacks based on the location number listed at the beginning of every book title on your booklist. Once you have all your books, you will proceed to a checkout station where you will show your ID card, have your books scanned, and be provided with a receipt.

    The student booklist will also indicate if there are items that must be purchased from the University Bookstore such as lab manuals or workbooks. Textbooks in the bookstore are shelved by course and section and must be paid for by cash, credit card, debit card, Tower Tender, or check.  Be sure to stop in the University Bookstore and check out the great
    selection of snacks, health and beauty items, Hallmark cards, gifts and clothing!

  4. When can I check-out books or have them shipped for an on line course?
    The following textbook check-out dates have been established to provide students the opportunity to retrieve textbooks in a timely and convenient manner.

    • Fall and Spring Semester:  two weeks prior to the first day of classes

    • Winter Intersession (J-Term):  the start date of final exams for fall semester

    • Summer Session:  the start date of final exams for spring semester

  5. What happens if I drop a class?
    Textbooks for the dropped class must be returned within 24 hours when the course is dropped in the first week of classes.  student fines, late fees and textbook replacement costs will be added to the students account for all books not returned with 24 hours.  Textbook Rental has a limited inventory of some titles and a student adding the class you dropped will need your book right away - please be courteous to your fellow students and return your books on time!  Refer to the Textbook Rental Policy for more information.

  6. When do my books have to be returned?
    Textbooks are due back on the business day following the last day of finals, excluding weekends and holidays  at the end of every semester.  Specific dates and policies are posted at Textbook Rental Services, posted on the Textbook Rental Hours web page, and communicated to students via e-mail.  You may return your books earlier if you no longer need them.  In fact, returning your books after each final could save you time when you are in a hurry to leave campus and get home!  Textbook Rental Services is open extended hours during final exam week to assist you in returning all your books; visit Hours for more details!  If you do not return your books by the required deadline, you will be charged for the replacement cost of the book and additional late fines and processing fees.

    If you need a list of the textbooks you currently have checked out, please stop in Textbook Rental Services at least a week prior to the deadline for returns.  A student booklist will be provided of all the materials you have checked out.

    Book re-shelving:
     In order to maintain accurate inventory and as a courtesy to fellow students, all books should be returned to their proper location. Students whose books require re-shelving will be assessed a $1 processing fee per book on their student account.  The University Bookstore offers a service to shelve your books for a $1 fee per book that is payable upon check-in by stopping at their Customer Service counter.

  7. Can I ship my textbooks back if I am not on campus?
    Yes, you can ship your textbooks back to Textbook Rental Services if you are not able to return them in person.  You MUST follow the UW-L Textbook Rental Shipping Procedures and your shipping date MUST BE ON OR BEFORE THE DUE DATE to avoid paying any fines or penalties.  See #8 below for more information on textbook fines.

  8. How much are textbook fines if books are not returned?
    Textbook fines are $10.00 per book with a maximum fee of $40.00 in addition to a $20.00 processing fee. Replacement costs for all textbooks not returned by the due dates are also charged to the student's account.  Replacement charges can be removed from the student's account if textbooks are returned to Textbook Rental Services within 10 days of the due date.  After the 10 days, students become the proud owner of their books.  By this point in time, additional inventory will have been ordered in order to guarantee that every registered student has a book for their classes.  Be courteous to your fellow student  - return your books on time!  For more up-to-date information, please refer to the Textbook Rental Policy.

    Remember:  all textbook rental fines on your student account MUST BE PAID before you can register for a subsequent term.  Best practice to follow is to return all your books by the due date!

  9. How are textbooks for on-line courses handled?
    On-line classes follow the same guidelines as traditional classes, with the following additions: If textbooks need to be shipped, the student will pay for shipping.  Please refer to the UW-L Textbook Rental Shipping Procedures for specific details for shipping textbooks. Textbooks that are returned by mail must be postmarked by the close of operations on the business day following the last day of finals, excluding weekends and holidays.  Thereafter, all fines and processing fees will apply.

  10. What if I need to keep my books to finish a course?
    If you need to keep a textbook to finish an incomplete, you MUST secure the instructor's written permission by e-mail send directly to the Textbook Rental Manager, in advance of the textbook due date. If this procedure is not followed, the appropriate fees, fines, and the replacement cost for the textbook will be charged to your student account per the Textbook Services Policy.

  11. What if I want to purchase my textbook(s)?
    You will not be able to purchase books from Textbook Rental.  However, the University Bookstore Manager will happy to assist you in purchasing that same title from the Bookstore; new and used book options are available.

  12. Can I bring a family or friend in with me to help carry my books?
    Family and friends are not allowed in Textbook Rental Services during check in and check out. Please arrange ahead of time to meet your family/friends in the University Bookstore after you have checked your books out.

  13. What is REASONABLE wear and tear for a textbook?*
    Reasonable wear and tear is damage or depreciation that would result from ordinary use. Please do not check out a book that is not in good condition. If the only copy left on the shelf is not in good condition, please see a staff member for assistance.

    • Highlighting: Do not highlight in your rental textbooks!

    • CD's: Some books come with CD's. If a book you are checking out does not contain the appropriate CD, please see a staff member for assistance. They will record the missing CD in the computer system. You may not return books without a CD or with a damaged or broken CD, etc. if the book contained a CD when you checked it out.  Appropriate fines and fees will be applied.

    • Water Damage or damage from liquid: This is not reasonable wear and tear. You will not be able to return the book(s) and the appropriate fines and fees will be applied.

    • Chewed corners, ripped pages, broken bindings, missing covers, etc: This is not considered reasonable wear and tear. You will not be able to return the book(s) and the appropriate fines and fees will be applied.

      *No book with damage beyond reasonable wear and tear will be accepted as returns. Your student tuition will be charged accordingly for damaged books.

  14. Is special assistance with your textbooks needed?
    Please call the Textbook Rental Manager at anytime during regular business
    hours or email at

Graduate Students:

  1. How do graduate students get their books?
    Graduate students must purchase their books.  All of your required materials are available for purchase in the University Bookstore during regular business hours. The University Bookstore is located in the basement of Cartwright Center.   You can also order your books online and have them ready for pick-up when you arrive on campus or they can be shipped to your residence at your expense.
  2. How do I know what books are needed for my graduate classes?
    Textbooks in the University Bookstore are organized on the shelves by course and section.  Simply check each of your courses by section for your required materials.  There may also be additional materials that are listed as recommended or suggested purchases.
  3. How to I pay for my required graduate course materials?
    All course materials (and other merchandise) purchased in the University Bookstore must be paid for at the time of purchase with cash, check, credit card, debit card, or Tower Tender.

    All course materials purchased online must be paid for at the time the order is placed with a credit card.

    Purchased materials MAY NOT be charged to your student account.