Book buying plan a success

Lindsey Reed

A plan designed to help students who can’t buy books up-front is being called a success by university officials.

Rob Chrisler, director of auxiliary services, said about 500 students a day were charging books on their university account during the textbook rush.

“That’s hardly a majority,” he said. “But for a new program, it’s successful.”

A “one-stop student accounting” plan offered through the university bookstore allowed students to charge their books on their university account instead of paying up-front.

“We’re hoping students are as excited as we are,” bookstore director Shawna Cawthorn said.

Cawthorn said she doesn’t know if the new option increased overall sales, but it did benefit students.

“More than anything, it helped those low on cash during the first week of school,” she said.

A minimum of $100 was required to charge.

The option began during finals week last semester and ended on Jan. 16.

Before students could use the option, they had to fill out a form which requested a signature and the class level of the student, Cawthorn said.

“We want to use the information to find out who is using our program,” she said.

Chrisler said the idea to allow students to charge their books began three years ago.

“We’ve had demands from parents to put it all on one bill,” he said.

The option was originally scheduled to go into effect next semester, Chrisler said. Administrators later decided to test it in the spring because freshman might not be familiar enough about how to use the option in the fall, he said.

Bowling Green junior Matt McDougal said the new option made purchasing books easier this semester.

“I knew I had extra scholarship money, so I knew they could take the money out of that,” he said. “It was more convenient – I didn’t have money at the time.”

McDougal said he would use the option again and thinks that once students initially charge a $100 minimum, they should have the option to charge items under that minimum.

Chrisler said plans are already in the works to extend the “one-stop student accounting” idea in the future to include charges toward parking permits from the campus police and office visits at Student Health Services.

One-stop student accounting can save the university money because collection agencies would not have to be set up in every office and less residual checks would have to be issued, Chrisler said.

Reach Lindsey Reed at [email protected]