Faculty Student Association FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Suite 250, Stony Brook Union
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3209
STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY BOOKSTORE TAKES STEPS
TOWARD TEXTBOOK AFFORDABILITY FOR STUDENTS
Offers “Low Price Match Guarantee” and other important cost saving services for students
STONY BROOK, N.Y., January 15, 2010 -- The University Bookstore at Stony Brook
University is much more than a college bookseller. Its staff is committed to giving back to the
campus community, often donating to events and using a generous percentage of total sales to
support educational initiatives. With programs already in place to help students save money, the
bookstore continues to develop initiatives to make textbooks more affordable.
Students deserve the choice between new and used textbooks and bundled and unbundled items
which are the most common factors that affect textbook affordability. The most direct way for
students to save money is to buy used textbooks because they are 25% less expensive than new
ones. The University Bookstore orders as many used textbooks as they can, as early as possible,
to ensure availability to meet the needs of Stony Brook students.
One of the bookstore’s main goals is to educate students, faculty, and staff not only on its
policies, but also the textbook industry itself. By working closely with the Office of the Provost’s
Liaison, the bookstore has steadily increased the number of on-time book requisitions by
reaching out to the campus community. On-time requests give the bookstore staff ample time to
locate as many used books as possible by the start of the semester.
The “Cash for Books Program” helps students save money when they sell back textbooks
they no longer need for class. The bookstore has buyback stations at popular campus
spots, such as the Kelly Coffee & Tea House, to make it more convenient for students to
sell their textbooks.
Last year, the University Bookstore paid out an impressive $547,331 to students, an
increase of 19% over the prior year.
Not only did buyback give students this money at the end of the semester, it also put
more used books on the shelf for the upcoming semester, enabling future students to get
their textbooks at lower prices.
The “Low Price Match Guarantee” ensures that students get the best deal in the area: the
University Bookstore will match the lowest price of any local brick-and-mortar store.
No new textbook is ever sold at a price greater than the publisher’s list price. (A
publisher’s list price of a new textbook takes into account the expert authors who wrote
it, the shipping and fuel cost for freight companies to deliver it, the intricate resources
used by the publishers to design and print it, the hardworking bookstore staff, and the
Is on-line Purchasing More Convenient, or a Myth?
A study conducted by the National Association of College Stores (NACS) in summer 2009
disproved the myth that “buying textbooks from an online retailer is always more convenient.”
A September 1, 2009, news release from NACS revealed that “by purchasing directly from
college stores, students avoid shipping costs, receive the correct edition of their books on time,
make only one stop, and can easily make returns and tap their financial aid.” Through the
Bookstore Campus Account program, students receive the money up front to purchase their
books right away, while the amount they select is charged to their Student Account and may be
deferred against financial aid or paid in monthly installments using The University’s Time
Option Payment Plan (TOPP).
With the cooperation of the campus, however, the University Bookstore can get costs even lower
and save students more money. A student who purchases a used textbook pays 75% of the new
price. This student can receive 50% of the new price at buyback time if faculty has informed the
bookstore that the same book will be used. In the end, the total cost to the student is just 25% of
the new textbook price.
Starting in the summer of 2010, the University Bookstore will assist the University in complying
with the textbook provisions of the Higher Education Opportunity Act. As part of this legislation
recently signed into law by President Obama, colleges and universities that receive Federal
financial aid funding are required to post the required and recommended textbooks for courses at
the time of registration to full extent practical. At Stony Brook, this information will be available
through the bookstore web site and will be automatically linked to the online registration process
in SOLAR. As an added benefit, when a student completes registration he/she will have the
option to get a full list of course textbooks and the pricing at University Bookstore. They would
then be able to print out this list and comparison shop and/or place all or part of their order with
University Bookstore online.
Stony Brook University has been selected to participate in a Textbook Rental pilot program for
the upcoming spring semester. This program will allow students to rent some or all of their
textbooks from the bookstore, as opposed to buying them. It is a cost-effective and useful option
for students who do not anticipate keeping their books, as well as for students who prefer to not
go through the process of selling books back at the end of the term.
The University Bookstore is located on the lower level of the Melville Library. For hours of
operation, information on textbook return/refund policies, sales, and other events, become a fan
on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SBUbookstore.