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      New Students

  Incoming Freshmen and Transfer Students:  Welcome To WCU!!

Textbooks for courses numbered 100-499 are furnished to on-campus, undergraduate students on a rental basis by the WCU Bookstore Rental Department.  You pay a flat fee of $140.00 each semester for rental books – this fee is included with tuition. Tuition must be paid before you can pick up your rental books.

Where do you get your textbook?

The rental department is located inside the WCU Bookstore.  If you are coming in the main entrance of campus, take the roundabout to the left.  Continue on this road until the main road curves to the right at the top of the hill.  The building on the right is the bookstore.   Once inside the building, you will head to the right, back corner to get to book rental.

How to rent your books :
  1. Register for classes and get your Cat Card (which is your student ID).
     All students must have tuition paid and have a valid Cat Card to rent books (or know your 920# and have a picture ID).
    (Cat Cards are available on the first floor of the Killian Annex, also known as One-Stop)
  2. Come to the bookstore and get in the book rental line.
  3. You will need to give your Cat Card to an individual sitting at the computers.  Someone will scan it, which prints out a card with your schedule & required rental textbooks on it.
  4. Take the card into book rental.  A book runner will get all of your books for you.  Find the correct line by looking up at the letters hanging from the ceiling; choose the one that has the first letter of your last name.
  5. You will need to read, date, and sign the rental agreement card.  Examine all of your books and make sure any damages are documented, so you will not be charged for it when you return them.
     It’s that simple!
Frequently Asked Student Book Rental Questions

Q: What is book rental?
A: Book Rental is a system where textbooks for courses numbered 100-499 are furnished to undergraduate students on a rental basis. The textbook rental program is an economical alternative to students, because most other universities make you buy every textbook.

Q: What is the cost of the book rental plan?
A: Students pay a flat fee each semester and are entitled to adopt textbooks used in each course for which they are registered.

Q: How and where do I pay?
A: The book rental fee is included in tuition.  You can pay on campus, by mail, or online.

Q: Where and how do I pick up books?
A: Book Rental is located in the WCU Bookstore. Student fees must be paid before rental books can be picked up. Students receiving financial aid must complete and return the acceptance form to the University, even if the balance is zero.  Please bring your student ID card (also referred to as your "cat card"), when you come to pick up books.

Q: Can I mark inside the book rental text?
A: Yes, but please do so as sparingly as possible. These books are usually reissued for several semesters. Students will be billed for books grossly mistreated (ex: dirt, water damage, missing cover, missing pages, etc.)

Q: Can I purchase rental books?
A: Students can purchase books at the replacement price if they wish, but this does not exempt them from paying the rental fee.

Q: Where and when do I return book rental textbooks?
A: Students must return books to Book Rental no later than five working days after the last day of final exams each term (including Mini-Mester and Summer School). Unreturned books will be charged to your student account at replacement cost. Books returned after this five-day period will be credited to your student account at 1/2 the charged amount. Grossly mistreated books must be purchased.

Q: What if I get an incomplete in a class?
A: If a student receives an incomplete in a course, the student will be allowed to keep the rental book with no penalty, through the following semester, if the student brings written documentation (such as a grade sheet) to Book Rental showing the course with the incomplete.  Only textbooks for the incomplete courses may be kept.  All other books must be returned on time as stated in the rental policy.

Q: Will I have to buy additional books?
A: Supplemental textbooks may be required, such as lab manuals, study guides, reference materials, etc. Supplemental textbooks are available through the Bookstore (average cost $52.00).

Q: Can I return my rental books by mail?
A:  Yes!  Please use the following address and be sure to include your name and student id # somewhere in the package:

WCU Bookstore
ATTN: Book Rental
Western Carolina University
311 Memorial Drive
Cullowhee, NC 28723

  Lost Books

If your textbooks are lost or stolen, we can issue a replacement.  You are still responsible for both copies and liable for the replacement costs.


Textbook(s) provided by the WCU Bookstore Rental Department are rental books and belong to us. Rental books must be returned no later than five working days after the last day of final exams each term.  Unreturned books will be charged to your student account at replacement cost.  Books returned after this five-day period will be credited to your student account at ½ the charged amount.  Grossly mistreated books must be purchased.

This damage can include, but is not limited to: writing, highlighting, missing cover, missing pages, and water damage.

  • You must bring your Cat Card to rent books OR know your 920# & have picture ID.
  • You do not need your Cat Card to return your books.
  • You can rent and return books all semester.
  • If you drop a class you need to return your books as soon as possible.
  • You must be enrolled in a class to pick up a book for that class.

Top 10 Helpful Hints of things you should NOT do with your books
  1. Use a textbook as a parking break.
  2. Do your homework in the rain or shower.
  3. Let your cat us it as a litter tray or scratching post.
  4. Throw them at the geese near the pond.
  5. Feed them to wild pets, children, or roommates.
  6. Leave them on the top of your car or in the bed of your truck. These places are not waterproof.
  7. Get blood, Kool-Aid, coffee, soda, or water on them.
  8. Draw, color, or fill in the answers in them.
  9. Rip out pages to turn in homework on or make origami projects.
  10. Keep them…. remember, you’re renting them from us!


    This list may seem a bit silly, but every semester students attempt to return books that are damaged.  These are some of the things students have done with their books and they had to buy them.

      Thank you and enjoy your semester!

    If you have any questions, please contact the Book Rental department at 828-227-3610.