DukeLIFE has resources to help eligible students access materials for up to two courses each semester. The program is intended to assist students not receiving other forms of support from the university.

Welcome to a quick guide!

LIFE Course Materials Assistance

Who is eligible to apply?

DukeLIFE actively enrolled Trinity or Pratt undergraduates with high financial need as indicated in their need-based financial aid records. At the beginning of each academic year, DukeLIFE emails all students who meet the financial eligibility criteria. Check your email for receipt of this communication to confirm your eligibility before applying. Students may also email dukelife@duke.edu to inquire about their eligibility.

Students may receive assistance with materials for up to two courses per semester.

  • Students who apply for materials for more than two courses will be referred to the financial aid office to inquire about additional forms of aid, including interest-free loans.
  • Requests for digital textbooks, subscriptions to online learning platforms, and other single-user items will be reviewed individually. Please allow extra time for this review.

Ineligible Items (not exhaustive):

  • Art supplies
  • Software subscriptions
  • Lab items that must be purchased in person
  • Clothing
  • Bags and cases
  • Laptops, iPads, hard drives, and other computer peripherals


1. Browse our Resource Library to see if the item is in stock. If it is, send an email to dukelife@duke.edu to borrow it.

2. If the item is not in our Resource Library, use the link below to submit an application. 

3. You will receive an email notification about the status of your application within 3 business days.

4. A DukeLIFE staff member will work with you to purchase the item. You will use it for the duration of your enrollment in the course and return it to the DukeLIFE office after the course is completed.

5. Students who do not pick up the items they requested or who do not return their borrowed items will not be eligible to participate in this program in the future.

Other Campus Resources

Students having difficulty with textbooks and supply costs associated with their courses may also use the following resources.

  • Contact the financial aid office (whether or not you are on aid). They have loans and resources for connecting students with campus programs that might be able to help alleviate these costs.
  • Bursar refunds and work-study are funding sources intended for educational expenses, including course materials and textbooks.
  • Students who are receiving financial aid packages as part of the Initiative for Students from the Carolinas are packaged with refunds to help them cover the costs of course materials.
  • Duke Libraries offers textbook rentals through the Top Textbook Program. You can rent a textbook for three hours at a time.
  • For course-specific technology needs such as Digital Voice Recorder, HD Video Camera, TI-84 Plus CE, DSLR camera kit, Tripod, shotgun mic, iPad mini 4, handheld projector, or a GoPro, visit the Link and reserve rental equipment.


We can often approve requests for physical materials within 3 business days. Reviews for electronic materials will take longer because they require individual review by the financial aid office. Due to the substantial number of applications at the beginning of the semester, this process will require additional time.

If the purchase process for a physical item such as a textbook, calculator, or piece of sporting equipment can be completed online, then we can usually review the application, notify the student, and make the purchase within 3 business days and sometimes much sooner.

When possible, consider applying to DukeLIFE for a physical item and use the funding you saved on that expense to purchase a digital item you need for another class.

No. Our office must make all purchases directly. We are unable to reimburse students for purchases.

No. DukeLIFE runs a separate loaner laptop program. We do not have iPads available to borrow.