College Stores Strive to Save Students Big Money

Aug 31, 2010, 14:05 ET from National Association of College Stores

National Assn. of College Stores cites innovation, dedication to students

OBERLIN, Ohio, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While the price of textbooks can represent a significant cost to students, college stores around the country are consistently doing their part to save students money. Funding scholarships, employing students, and educating students and their parents about textbook tax credits are among the myriad ways college stores around the nation work every day to make course materials as affordable as possible for students.  

Here are some specific examples from a survey of its members conducted by the National Association of College Stores (NACS):

Buyback – Most college stores do their best to promote a strong used book market through aggressive buyback policies. Over 95% of Cornell students receive personalized e-mails during buyback season. As a result, the store nearly doubled its supply of used books over two years, allowing them to resell used books for even less.

Likewise, the University of Connecticut bookstore launched a buyback web site that informs students how many books the store will be buying and at what price. Combined with other programs, UConn Co-op estimates that it saves its students about $3.6 million annually on textbooks.

Some stores, such as that at California State University-Fullerton, have guaranteed buyback programs to increase used book stock and put a little extra cash in student pockets.

Price Matching – George Fox University, Weber State University and California State-Fullerton are just a few of the stores nationwide that participate in these programs, which practically guarantee students the lowest price.

Creative Concepts Washington University bookstore hands out $20 bills at random times throughout the year, the University of Illinois-Champaign store helps match used book sellers with buyers, and the University of Arkansas saved students more than $500,000 over two years by discounting books the day before classes begin.

Textbook Rentals – Stores like those at San Mateo (Calif.) Community College are saving students money through textbook rental programs. The San Mateo Community College store estimates saving participating students $79,000 in two years. Typically, college stores rent books to students for between one-third to half the cost of a new textbook.

On top of all this, a 2010 survey of its members conducted by NACS found that college stores contribute an average of $223,691 annually to their college campuses – much of which is used to fund scholarships and help defray tuition costs.

About NACS

Headquartered in Oberlin, Ohio, the National Association of College Stores (NACS) is the professional trade association representing more than 3,000 collegiate retailers. NACS member stores serve America's college students while supporting the academic missions of higher education institutions everywhere. Additional information on NACS can be found online at

SOURCE National Association of College Stores