Campus Store - FAQ
Need help buying textbooks? Ever wonder where the money goes? Find answers here!
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When can I purchase my textbooks for curriculum classes?
The CVCC Campus Store generally has textbooks available for purchase two weeks before classes begin, for curriculum classes.
When can I purchase my textbook for Continuing Education classes?
Books for Continuing Education will be available approximately five days before class.
When is the Campus Store open?
Our operating hours are on the Campus Store main page and updated to reflect special extended hours at the beginning of semester hours along with any scheduled closings. The Campus Store does follow the College’s institutional and weather closings. CVCC Inclement Weather and Alerts
How do I order my books online?
CVCC Campus Store (follow the shopping cart)
- Select the term
- Fall, Fall Intersession (Dec), Spring, Spring Intersession (May), Summer
- Continuing Education
How do I find my textbooks in the store?
A staff member will always be available to assist you, at our textbook service counter as long as you bring a copy of your schedule. If you don’t bring your schedule with you, you can look it up on your phone. We may not be able to give you the correct materials, without it, we do not have access to look it up.
Where do I find my class schedule?
Schedules are located on the MyCVCC Portal
- Student self-service homepage
- Student Finance
- View Statement (right corner of page)
What do I do if a textbook is not available when I come in to make my purchases?
We will make sure every student enrolled in a class at CVCC gets a book even if it has to be re-ordered. Students can order the out of stock book online and we will notify them, by email, once it has arrived. Most likely it is already on order. You can also let a staff member know that it is out of stock.
What forms of payment do you accept?
The CVCC Campus Store accepts Master Card, Visa, Discover, Cash, Checks, and Financial Aid. Please make check payable to, CVCC Campus Store, in the exact amount and presented with a valid Driver’s License, with the student’s name and ID printed on the front. We cannot accept counter checks (newly opened accounts), or checks from credit card companies with expiration dates on them.
What do I need to purchase my books with my financial aid?
You will need your schedule and a photo ID (Drivers License or CVCC Student ID). You will need to give us your student ID number (found on your schedule) when making purchases in the Campus Store, we cannot look you up by your Social Security number.
Can I order my books online with my financial aid or 3rd Party Sponsor?
Yes. When checking out select Student Account as the payment option.
When can I make financial aid purchases?
The date you may begin using your financial aid is approximately ten days before the semester begins, the dates will be on our CVCC webpage under Events. Take notice of end dates.
What will happen to my order if I have insufficient funds when my order is processed using Student Account funds?
When we process your order and partial or no funds are available, you will receive an email letting you know you have insufficient funds. Your will either need to contact the financial aid office or resubmit your order paying with credit card. If you have partial funds available you will still pay using a credit card, and make a note in the comment box to use your Student Account funds first.
What can I purchase with my financial aid?
Required textbooks, for the current semester, and supplies (backpacks, pens/pencils, paper products, and much more) can be purchased with your financial aid as defined by the Federal guidelines. We also offer some electronic devices and computers.
Do I have to come on the first day to use financial aid to purchase my books?
No. You can come in any time after the start date for purchasing all the way up to the cut-off date. We do recommend purchasing materials as soon as possible, so the Student Account cut-off date does not sneak up on you and delays you from completing assignments.
What is your refund policy?
Campus Store Refunds
Why do I need to keep my receipts?
A current receipt is required for all returns and exchanges made. It’s a good idea to keep your receipts for income tax purposes (American Opportunity Tax Credit) or if another party is reimbursing you for your purchase.
What is the American Opportunity Tax Credit?
IRS-American Opportunity Tax Credit
Does the Campus Store sell gift cards?
Yes, the Campus Store sells reloadable gift cards.
Do you buy back books?
Yes. More information Book Buyback
Why should I purchase my books and supplies from the CVCC Campus Store?
Catawba Valley Community College owns and operates the CVCC Campus Store. Profits earned from sales in the bookstore go back to our students by assisting with student activities, athletics and scholarships. We work hard to keep costs low, for our students, by offering a variety of cost effective merchandise, spirit gear, and textbook options (new, used, digital, and rental). The Campus Store is here to support our students, faculty, staff and visiting community stakeholders.
Textbook Costs Facts
How much do students spend on course materials each year?
While this information varies based on factors such as course load and subject matter, students estimated spending an average of $370 on required course materials during the fall 2013 term, according to NACS’ Student Watch™ fall 2013 report. Required course materials can be any type of book or media required or recommended by faculty for classes. These could be new or used textbooks, regular or general books, as well as course packs, readers, customized materials or digital/electronic educational materials. This amount does not include the savings achieved by students selling their used textbooks, which further reduces net costs for most students.
Further, 40.6% of students said they usually pay for course materials with grants, scholarships and student loans during the fall 2013 term. Financial assistance covered, on average, 57% of the costs of the course materials for those students. Educational supplies are an additional cost that may include blue books, pens, paper, binders, highlighters and other necessary expenses. On average, educational supplies cost $193 for the Fall 2013 term.
How much does the college store make on textbooks?
It is a common misperception that college stores make a large profit on textbooks. For new textbooks, college stores typically obtain the books they sell directly from publishers. Publishers establish the amount they charge college stores for each title. College stores then establish a retail price (the amount a student pays for the textbook). The difference between what the college store pays for the textbook and the amount they charge the student is called the gross margin. This gross margin is used to cover the personnel costs, the cost of freight, and other costs related to operating the store (utilities, rent, etc.) The average gross margin on new textbooks is currently 21.1%, according to NACS’ 2013 College Store Industry Financial Report. This margin has remained relatively constant since 1989.
After expenses have been paid, a college store makes less than 4 cents on every dollar’s worth of new textbooks sold. In most cases, the money that is made goes back to the institution and into student programs, such as financial aid, to help defray other costs of higher education.
In the case of used textbooks, the gross margin is higher because they require more handling and incur more operating expenses. They also present a higher risk to the store, because of the chance that a new edition of the textbook may make them obsolete.
How do college stores compare to average retailers?
It’s important to remember that college stores are not traditional retailers. They are unique in that they do not select the bulk of their inventory (textbooks); rather, they procure the materials faculty select as appropriate for their classes. Also, because college stores are service driven, they attempt to provide the lowest possible prices for students as opposed to trying to make the largest profit.
What percentage of students buy textbooks at the college store?
The latest research from Student Watch™ Fall 2013 indicates students purchase 47% of their required course materials either at the college store or through the college store’s web site.
How can the same textbook, or a virtually identical textbook, be less expensive to buy from an overseas supplier than through a US college store?
Lower prices on college textbooks are available overseas because some US publishers have sold these titles to wholesalers or retailers abroad at prices that are greatly reduced in comparison to those available to US college stores and other US retailers. The Internet has made it possible for foreign wholesalers and distributors to pass along lower prices on textbooks to US consumers, placing them in direct competition with US college stores. This adds to students’ distrust and frustration regarding US college textbook prices.
NACS supports a “one price” system in which US students are not paying more than non-US students, particularly those in developed countries. US students should not, by themselves, bear the sole burden of course material development costs or suffer the consequences of underdeveloped countries' inability or unwillingness to enforce copyright laws. All segments of the textbook industry should be working together to see how we can best maintain the extraordinary high quality of US higher education – which is the envy of the world – without making the price of that education prohibitive to many Americans.
© National Association of College Stores