Course Materials Assistance

DukeLIFE has resources to help eligible students access course materials. The program is intended to assist students who are not receiving other forms of support. It does not support course materials for an entire semester.  

Who is eligible to apply?

DukeLIFE undergraduates actively enrolled in Trinity or Pratt who have demonstrated high financial need as indicated in their need-based financial aid records. The DukeLIFE office notifies all students who meet the financial eligibility criteria each academic year via email. Check your email for receipt of this communication to confirm your eligibility prior to applying. Students may also write to to inquire about their eligibility. 
Students may receive assistance with materials for one course per semester. 
  • Students who apply for materials for several 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.  
  • Requests for online learning platforms for language classes will be reviewed after the Drop/Add period ends to allow time for students to confirm their course placement. We recommend that students take advantage of free trial subscriptions in the meantime. 

Ineligible Items (not exhaustive):

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


  • Please provide all requested information on the application. You will receive an email notification about the status of your application within 3 business days. 
  • If the request is approved, a DukeLIFE staff member will work with you to purchase the item directly. You will be asked to sign a participation agreement form agreeing to return the item to the DukeLIFE office.  The item will be yours to use for the duration of your enrollment in the course.
  • Students who do not pick up the items they requested or who do not return their borrowed items will not be able to participate in this program again.  

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 programs on campus 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, where you can rent out a textbook for 3 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. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When should I expect to receive notification about the status of my application? 

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

Requests related to foreign language courses are reviewed after the Drop/Add period to allow students to confirm their course placement. 

Q: What is the fastest kind of course material to receive? 

A: 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.  

Q: Can I receive a refund for an item that I have already purchased? 

A: No. Our office must make all purchases directly. 

Q: Can I request a laptop or iPad through this program? 

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