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Textbook Access and Affordability Act Guidelines

Endorsed by the Council of Deans, January 19, 2010


To comply with the Federal College Textbook Affordability Act of 2007 (20U.S.C. 1015. 133), which takes effect on July 1, 2010. In summary, the law states that any institution of higher education that receives Federal assistance to include on course schedules the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and retail price for each required or recommended textbook or supplement for listed courses. Requires an institution to: (1) use the author and title if the ISBN is unavailable; and (2) indicate that the required information has yet to be determined if its disclosure for a course is impractical. It also requires the number of students enrolled, and the maximum enrollment of each course to be displayed.

  • Schools must, as practical, provide students with accurate course material information including ISBN and retail price information online. Providing this information on a bookstore website is acceptable as long as the link is clearly and prominently located on the institution's Internet course schedule.
  • Schools, faculty, booksellers, and publishers are encouraged to collaborate on cost reduction strategies.
  • Publishers must give faculty textbook pricing information and let them know if the book is available as a bundle or in alternate formats.
  • Publishers must offer unbundled course materials, unless they are bound by 3rd party contract, customs, or the materials are designed solely as integrated materials.
  • Schools should inform students on how to save money on textbooks (including used books, cash back programs, etc).


Authority, Responsibility, and Duties

Applicable parties to this policy include academic Deans, Department Chairs, Faculty, Staff and the management and employees of the outsourced bookstore operations vendor (i.e. Barnes and Noble). Those responsible for monitoring the policy are the Bookstore Manager and Director of Budget.



Academic Deans and Department chairs, working with their respective faculty, will ensure that textbooks for the Fall, Spring, Summer terms are submitted 30 days before the Fall, Spring or Summer electronic class schedule is posted. In the event of new courses, new curriculum or late faculty assignments to courses, these dates will be extended but orders must be provided as soon as possible.

The Bookstore, Deans, and Department Chairs are encouraged to provide information to educate new and returning faculty members in course textbook selection, book ordering procedures, electronic book ordering, textbook buyback process and benefits to students, dates of return for textbooks, the cost to the Bookstore for unused textbooks, etc.

The Registrar's Office will provide the Bookstore with its course schedule for the subsequent semester, as well as the number of students enrolled in each course and maximum enrollment for each course one week prior to early registration.



All book orders must be submitted to the University Bookstore thirty (30) days before the Fall, Spring or Summer electronic class schedule is posted. This will allow the time necessary to input all book information into the system, so that students will have access to all ISBN and pricing details when they begin the registration process. Having book orders at this time also allows the bookstore to formulate a buy back plan for titles that are being reused. This gives students more money back in their pockets at the end of the semester since we will pay up to 50% back on titles that are being re-used the next semester.

Prior Book Order Deadline
Summer Orders- April 1
Fall Orders- April 1
Spring Orders- October 15
New Book Order Deadline
Summer Orders- March 1
Fall Orders- March 1
Spring Orders- September 1


The bookstore shall:

  • Make faculty aware of the option to request unbundled versions of textbook and course materials and of the price differential.
  • In the case that a faculty member assigns bundled materials, the Bookstore shall make available both bundled and unbundled versions of the materials for purchase. The bookstore shall clarify on the bookstore website that in the case of the assignment of bundled materials, students should purchase either the bundled package or all required portions of the bundle individually.
  • Disclose on the electronic course schedule the ISBN and retail price information of the required and recommended textbook and supplemental materials for each course listed in the university's course schedule used for early registration and general registration purposes, except as follows:
    1. If ISBN is not available for a textbook or supplemental material, the College shall provide its author, title, publisher and copyright date:
    2. The college will place the designation "To be determined" in lieu of required textbook information if not submitted by the stated deadline.
  • The Bookstore will notify students (electronically) as to the availability of the following: textbook buyback programs, alternative content delivery programs (i.e. digital books) and other cost saving strategies.



  • Teaching the same course for multiple semesters are encouraged to use the same textbooks and course materials to the extent this is practical and/or educationally sound.
  • Must submit textbooks to the campus bookstore by the stated deadlines: Thirty days before the Fall, Spring or Summer electronic class schedule is posted. Submission of textbook selections allows the bookstore to keep student costs down by giving the bookstore time to locate more used copies and allowing them to purchase books back from students at higher prices.
  • Must include the ISBN number as well as author, title, publisher, the edition, copyright and publication date, and other information that may be relevant to the student seeking to minimize cost.
  • Should order textbook bundles only if the supplements included with textbooks are necessary to the curriculum and instruction.
  • Should consider price during the textbook selection process as long as educational quality is not compromised.
  • Should permit students to purchase electronic versions of textbooks when available.



  1. The bookstore shall send the Textbook forms for the upcoming term to the appropriate faculty or department chair for completion.
  2. The faculty member receiving the forms to complete must verify the correctness of the information pertaining to the current textbook on file for the course specified on the form and will complete the form as indicated. If there are no changes and the same textbooks(s) are being readopted, the faculty member will complete, sign and return the form to the bookstore by the due date stated on the form. If there are changes, follow guidelines listed above.
  3. In the event that the bookstore manager is unable to secure the availability and/or quantity of the textbook selected during the ordering process because the textbook is out of print, no longer available, substituted by the publisher, or for any other reason, the bookstore will notify the appropriate faculty member.


  • Shall be advised on textbook costs, buybacks, returns and the consequences of not having the required materials for classes. This information shall be published on the University Bookstore webpages.
  • Ask the instructor if it is possible to purchase an earlier, less expensive version of the textbook.
  • Comparison shop, including the campus bookstore, using ISBN numbers before buying textbooks.
  • Speak to your instructor about submitting their textbook order to the bookstore by the stated deadlines. The deadline is 30 days before the Fall, Spring or Summer electronic class schedule is posted.

NOTE: Exact textbook and price are subject to change due to publisher updates and are beyond the control of the University and/or bookstore.



last revised: January 2010