Students at Tech now have the ability to charge textbooks purchased at Barnes & Noble to their bursar accounts. Beginning as an exclusive offer for incoming freshmen at this summer’s FASET, the Textbook Direct program has now been extended to all students enrolled in at least one credit hour of courses.
“The Textbook Direct program is a great convenience that allows students to charge up to $800 in course materials and supplies to their student account,” said Rich Steele, director of auxiliary services. He went on to explain how Tech looks to improve accessibility in general, stating, “We have been focused on making it simple for students to use on-campus resources by adding convenient services such as this.” Despite the name of the program, items other than textbooks are also covered by this program; these include but are not limited to calculators, lab coats, and clickers.
With the change, textbooks can now be purchased using financial aid. However, there are some limitations. In order to use financial aid for textbooks, you need to specifically authorize funds for that use, depending on the type of aid.
The program has not been without hiccups.
“This semester, we did have one day of charges that were unfortunately delayed from being transmitted immediately to student accounts,” Steele said.
He went on to explain that the delay was soon fixed and affected students received a fee-deadline extension. It should be noted that, under normal circumstances, charges from the purchase of textbooks and related paraphernalia are due at regular fee deadline if holds are not desired.
Student reaction has been generally favorable, with many appreciative of the increased variety of payment options the change presents.
“It’s a great option for students who prefer to leave their credit cards at home or have all expenses consolidated in one place,” said Catherine Chou, a second-year biomedical engineering major about the new payment option. “Textbooks are a hefty amount to be charging to a buzzcard as well, making this new option where students can pay for course materials alongside tuition a wonderful convenience.”
Others were less enthusiastic.
“I think it is a good idea, but I heard you have to pay a fee,” said Leila Harrison, a first-year environmental engineering major.
According to Steele, payment updates would not have been possible without extensive support from OIT, Bursar’s Office, Financial Aid, and Campus Services.