UNO Bookstore: Not your only option

As a new school year inches closer, so do its tuition due dates. Eight in ten college students worry about repaying their student loans, reports Campbell Rinker, a company that conducts research for nonprofit organizations.

But high tuition prices aren’t the only culprits stressing students; the survey also reports that students expect to pay around a thousand dollars per year on textbooks alone.

While over half of students forego the use of a textbook due to its price and pray for the best, this is not a risk every student is able to take. Many classes have textbooks that are absolutely essential to the course, not an optional accessory.

But when students walk into the University of New Orleans bookstore, many are surprised at the prices. Used textbooks costing hundreds of dollars line the shelves.. The UNO bookstore, contrary to popular belief, is not a part of the University. They are a private company contracted by the university that “provides a revenue stream to the university in the form of rent and a percentage of sale,” UNO bookstore manager Karin Coelho said.

Some students feel like the bookstore is not out for their best interest. Junior Austen Schexnaydre says “you walk in there for a pack of pencils and this super aggressive sales team tries to sell a summer abroad in Tokyo to you. I want to tell them leave me alone, I’m just browsing the pencil selection. They really wanted me to spend a lot of money in there.”

Many students are not aware that there are options other than their campus bookstore for attaining textbooks. But what is it the best option for students when it comes to buying books?

The comparison tool on either the app or website presents cheaper options for students: a simple book search results in a price-ascending list of various purchase or rental options available. The site itself does not buy or sell any books, nor does it charge for its services. Rather, it provides a direct link to the bookseller’s site. This presents a wonderful opportunity for students to spend less time stressing and searching for books, in order to spend more time focusing on classes.

The comparison tool is able to search through thousands of booksellers, including Amazon, Chegg and Barnes & Noble. It can also search through local campus bookstores’ inventory, even though the UNO bookstore does not appear in the top ten campus bookstores in Louisiana for textbook pricing.

Of course, there are benefits to shopping locally; students who prefer to attend the first day of class before purchasing books may be daunted by shipping times, benefitting from a campus bookstore that might have the class-specific book in stock.