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Course Materials 101

Outside of tuition and room/board, course materials are the biggest investment you will make in your education. Because of that, MSU Bookstore is dedicated to helping you make the right choices to meet your educational and financial needs. Our mission is to lower the cost of course materials for every MSU Student.

We offer a variety of course materials options, and each has its place within the “course materials ecosystem”. The Bookstore works closely with faculty, publishers, wholesalers, and electronic distributors to find a mix of products that keeps prices low for students, meet the needs of our faculty partners, and provides a custom-tailored learning experience.

The course materials ecosystem is made up of new, used, and rental books, as well as access codes, eBook, and Inclusive Access titles. Each serves a different purpose for students.

Important Dates:
Refunds:  Last day for a full refund is 2 weeks after the start of class

Buyback:  Friday before finals week and all of finals week

Rentals:  Due the Friday of Finals week; charged during the week after finals week if the rental is not returned

Last day to buy Spring books:  during the week after Spring Break

Last day to buy Summer books:  during the last week in June

Last day to buy Fall books:  during the 3rd week in October

Alphabetical Organization by Author Last Name:
Why did MSU Bookstore make the change from organization by course?
• By having each title in one location, we eliminate out of stock issues that stem from books being in multiple locations throughout the store. Under the old model, a book could be in multiple places throughout the store and go out of stock on a shelf for a class, leading a student to believe we did not have the book, when it was also located in another place in the store. By having all copies of each title in one location, this is eliminated.
• Students can now make one complete trip through the bookroom to grab their books without needing to backtrack.
• For our team processing online orders, the packing process is greatly expedited, allowing us to process more orders in a timely fashion. This is essential given the reduced staffing all of us are experiencing.
• Arranging titles alphabetically by author also allows us to lay out the bookroom in a more efficient manner, providing for safer and more efficient flows of traffic.
• Many customers struggle with course sections, numbers, and professors, leading to an overwhelming number of returns from students purchasing the wrong book for their class. By focusing only on the author and title, we can make certain that students are more likely to get the correct book that they need. Many of our customers reference the actual book they need, not the class.

How MSU Bookstore is helping customers with the change:
• Kiosks are available in the Bookstore for students to be able to look up their booklist
• We have WIFI coverage in the bookroom, using the “bookstore guest” network, so that customers may utilize their own device to search if they choose.
• Signage, “how-to’s”, maps, and floor staff are available to assist customers.
• Social media postings have been made to indicate the change and what customers should expect.

How MSU Bookstore came to this decision:
Please know that the decision to move to this organizational model was not made lightly. We made several trips to other campus bookstores, evaluated industry trends, attended industry conferences and events focused on the model, and followed the “best practices” model for the industry. We also made this decision with the consultation of our Board of Directors, which is comprised of students and faculty.
We made the change in summer 2021 and experienced very positive feedback from our summer semester students. We do expect this change to take some time to adjust to, however, based on all the reasons above, it makes sense to continue to keep MSU Bookstore operating within a “best practices” model for college bookstores.

Rental Information:
When you rent from the Bookstore, you pay a lower cost up front to use the book(s) for the semester and return them by the last day of finals week. You will need a credit or debit card to secure your rental as well as your Cat Card to rent your books. Rental books are one of the easiest and most convenient ways to save money on your course materials.We make every effort to rent as many books as possible, but please understand that books are deemed “rentable” by wholesalers who evaluate the current course materials marketplace when providing us with rental offers. Books that are not returned will be charged to the card that was used to rent your book(s). The cost charged to you if your book(s) are not returned will be the difference between the purchase price and the rental price, plus a $10 late fee. This can add up fast if you have more than one rental, so be sure to get your book(s) back on time to avoid this happening.

When Are My Rentals Due?
Rented textbooks are due back the last Friday of finals week or anytime before. If you do not get your rental back on time, you will be charged the difference between the rental and the purchase price plus a $10 late fee per book. This is done to protect the investment of our student-owners and to continue to be able to offer the lowest possible rental price.

What If I Want To Buy My Rentals?
Many students wish to buy their rentals at the end of the semester. All you need to do is bring the book and an ID to the course materials department, we will "return" the book so it is no longer associated as a rental and then you pay the difference between the rental price and the purchase price.

Inclusive Access:
Inclusive Access (IA) is the easiest, most affordable course materials option. If you have a class that has an IA title, the course materials are automatically loaded into D2L, and you will be billed for the material directly through your student account. Should you already have a copy of the course material or wish to not utilize the IA program for any reason, you have the option of “opting out” of the IA title during the first 15 days of the semester. You will need to do this for each IA title you don't wish to use.

To Opt-Out:
1. Click the Redshelf link in D2L
2. Click the hyperlink underneath 'View Course Materials' that says "view course details to opt-out of course materials"
3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen. Click the gray button that says "I want to opt-out of access for all required materials for this course"
4. Follow the instructions on the box that pops up to complete the opt-out process

How to Get Textbooks:
1. Once you have registered for courses and have your course schedule, log on to www.msubookstore.org, and navigate to “Get My Textbooks” under the Course Materials tab.
2. Based on your schedule, select your term, department, course, and section. Click the gold button and begin comparing prices from MSU Bookstore, Amazon, and many other online retailers. 93% of students who do this choose MSU Bookstore to be their course materials provider!
3. Add your desired course materials to your cart. Remember to select the conditions (New, Used, Rental, Digital, etc.) you prefer.
4. Checkout!! Please carefully read and follow any informational pop ups before finalizing your order.
5. During the checkout process, you will choose how you wish to receive your order. You can choose pick-up in store, residence hall delivery (Residence Haul service), or have them shipped to an address of your choice (PO Boxes). If you choose pick-up at store, you will then come to the store once you’ve been emailed that your order is ready. Residence Haul delivery and ship out methods will arrive at your address as soon as possible.

A Few Other Things to Remember
1. Please have your sales order number (SO number) on hand when you arrive if choosing pick-up at store, so that we can make sure the right order goes to the right person. Your SO number will be in your order confirmation email.
2. Please fill out your order form with the information of the person who is going to pick up the order, not necessarily the person placing the order.
3. Carefully read all disclaimers, rental agreements and information, returns info, etc. We want you to have a good experience, and that starts with you being as informed as possible. Questions? Just give us a shout and we will help answer them for you.
4. Shipping your order? Great, just please make sure it is to a physical address and not a PO Box. UPS doesn’t deliver there, so putting that as an address will slow your delivery process significantly.
5. Check your email for updates to your order, and don’t forget to check you junk/spam folder!! This is especially important during this fall semester, as the COVID-19 situation may cause policies, dates, and delivery methods to change rapidly.
6. If you are shopping in the store, please have your booklist ready to go to have a faster and easier shopping experience.

How Do I Know What Books I Need?
Our books are listed by author and course, so once you know what classes you’re in, you can go to our course materials Get My Textbooks feature on our website, enter your classes, and see the books your need! You can print off your booklist and bring it to the store or order your books online! Our friendly staff is available to assist you with your online or in-store purchase.

How Do I Get My Books in Person?
The Course Materials department is located in the rear of the Bookstore. Books are organized alphabetically by author last name. All you need to do is bring your booklist for the easiest in-store experience!

What If My Books Aren't Listed?
If your class and/or books are not listed it either means that there are no books for that class, or we haven't received the order from the department/professor yet.

Can I Return My Books?
Yes! There are several options for returning and/or selling your books back to the Bookstore. We want to make certain that you are only purchasing the books you need, and that you have an exceptional experience. So, with that in mind, here are a few of the best options relating to returning textbooks:

Refund Returns
Returns for a full refund are available for the first 2 weeks after the first day of class for the spring and fall semester. In the summer, books are returnable during the first week of classes. Please remember that books need to be in the condition that they were purchased in and with the ORIGINAL receipt to receive a full refund. YOU MUST HAVE A RECEIPT TO GET A REFUND!

Buyback is when you sell back your unwanted or unneeded textbooks. Buyback occurs at the end of the semester starting the Friday before finals week through the end of finals. If those times still do not work with your schedule, we also offer a 24/7 online buyback feature through our website. The summer buyback schedule varies, and updates are made on our social media platforms. We do not set the prices offered for wholesale buyback; rather they are generated by our used book partners. In order to have a successful buyback experience, your books need to be in good condition, with normal wear and tear acceptable. Water damaged books or ripped pages are examples of wear and tear that are NOT accepted, and yes, coffee stains are included as unacceptable damage.

Why aren't you buying back my book?
We only buy books at retail value that are being requested by a faculty member for the upcoming semester. If a book has not been requested by a professor, we will attempt to buy it on behalf of a used book wholesaler. Sometimes, neither a professor or a wholesaler is looking for the book, and we cannot buy it back. If your book isn't being used or it is too damaged for us to return, we cannot accept the book. At that point, you have the option of selling it yourself online, to a friend, or donating it to a good cause. As a student-owned non-profit, we make every effort to buy as many books as possible, but sometimes we are unable to offer you a value for your used book.

iClickers are an in-class tool used in many large lecture courses. You only need one iClicker, and it can be registered to many classes at one time. You will most likely use it for multiple semesters at MSU, so check before you sell it back at the end of the semester. Your professors will teach you how to use and register your iClicker.

eBooks vs. Access Codes
An eBook is just a digital version of your textbook that can be downloaded on your favorite device. There are several options for eBook purchasing that will allow you access to the book for varied amounts of time. Please make sure you are purchasing the eBook for enough time to complete your coursework. If you have any eBook questions, just let us know and we will be happy to assist you with your purchase.
If your ebook is from RedShelf, please use the following links if you need any assistance.

RedShelf Home Page

For Students: How to Access Materials

Instructor Support

An access code is a code that is entered into the website designated on the code. Once you enter this code you then have access to your textbook as well as homework, study programs, and other tools (depending on the publisher of the book/access code). Your professors will help you register and use your access code.