Bookstore offers price matching

As the first full week of the semester begins, many students find themselves weighing their options for where to find textbooks.

The UNA Bookstore is introducing buying options which could make them a contender.

One option is allowing students to use excess financial aid before they receive refund checks.

Students who have excess funds of more than $100 after paying tuition, fees, housing or other university bills can use those funds to purchase course materials, said Laura Bozovic, associate director of Student Financial Services, in a UNA email.

The purchase amount can’t exceed $600, Bozovic said.

Students can also make purchases instore or online, but financial aid will not cover shipping and handling, she said.

Students are able to use this service through Aug. 30.

“We’ve made some great strides in financial aid for this term,” said UNA Bookstore Manager Griffin Hite in an email. “In partnership with the Financial Aid office, we were able to extend the period during which funds are available as well as increase the range of products eligible for financial aid — primarily supplies.”

Freshman Darbi Jones said she normally buys books from Chegg or other online services, but she might consider buying books with financial aid from the bookstore in the future.

“I think that makes them more competitive,” she said.

Another option at the bookstore is the price matching feature, which the bookstore launched spring 2016.

“If students find course materials that they purchased at the bookstore advertised at a lower price from select competitors, they are eligible to receive the difference in price from the bookstore,” Hite said. “This ensures students get their materials at the lowest cost possible and allows them to apply price match funds to supplies or other needed materials.”

Eligible price matches are those with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chegg or local campus competitors, according to the policy. The student pays the initial price and receives the difference on a UNA gift card.

Although students can purchase the books online or instore, the price match has to be done instore.

Senior Alex Beaver said she considered price matching but was unable to do so.

“I tried looking for a book, but the bookstore did not have it,” Beaver said. “I ended up paying more for the book than what I bargained for.”

Students can only price match within seven days of the initial purchase. For a list of all requirements or restrictions, check the UNA Bookstore website.