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USM, Barnes & Noble announce discount book program for students

Students now have access to textbook rental discounts of up to 50% off
Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 10:07 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi and Barnes & Noble announced anew new partnership Thursday that will allow students to rent textbooks at a discounted price.

They are calling it “Eagle Direct Textbooks. It is only available to required books for undergraduate students Allyson Easterwood, vice president of finance and administration says they partnered with Barnes and Noble to make this happen.

“Through our partnership, the university and Barnes & Noble have a real focus on offering affordable options to our students for the delivery of course materials,” said Allyson Easterwood, vice president of finance and administration at Southern Miss.

Easterwood says the program offers access, affordability and convenience.

“It offers access because students are going to have access to their materials before classes start or as of the day classes start, which helps position those students to have the best academic experience they can have if they are adequately prepared when classes start,” Easterwood said. “It offers affordability because these prices are significantly discounted, and we believe the cost is going to be reduced, anywhere from 40 to 50 percent of what they have paid previously for textbooks.

“And it offers convenience to our students. It’s a very simplified and personalized delivery method, so students will have an option to select whether to have their coarse materials shipped to them to an address that they specified before classes start or their course materials will be packaged together in our store here on campus and they can come and pick those up. They will be prepackaged and they can come and pick those up on their convenience.”

Lucas Williams is a senior public relations major and the Student Government Association president. He says the students are very grateful.

“We only wish we could have had it sooner,” Williams said. “But we are excited for this innovative new trend that they are going to be doing with the textbooks. I feel like it is necessary. A lot of the students have already gotten word about it, and they are extremely excited about this opportunity.”

He also says the students are not the only ones who are probably appreciative of the opportunity.

“I think it’s also like an ease to the parents as well that are sending their students off to college with that surety that they know like, ‘I’m going to pay this much for textbooks,’ and it’s not going to create another financial burden.”

The university says all of the businesses involved in the program are taking in a little bit less money to make this available to the students and they have the option to opt out of the program if it does not suit them.

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