Financial Aid

Textbook Costs

  • According to the College Board Annual Survey of Colleges, the average annual cost of textbooks at 4-year private colleges for full-time students during the 2009-2010 academic year was $1,116.
  • Approximately 50% of Messiah's Textbook Express textbook sales in a typical semester are used books. Used books save the student 25% off of the price of a new book.
  • Textbooks are tax-exempt in the state of Pennsylvania. This can save the student an additional 6% off the similar retail receipt from another bricks-and-mortar store.
  • Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's (ARRA) newly created American Opportunity Tax Credit, textbook and other course material expenses--along with tuition and fees incurred and not covered by scholarships or grants--may be claimed as a tax credit of up to $2,500 on that year's tax return. Students must keep their receipts to be eligible. See for additional details and to determine eligibility.