Picture of Textbooks

BYU-Idaho students are paying far lower prices for their textbooks than the average college student. Each semester, the University Store goes through a very thorough process to order textbooks for the best prices on the market. The Store uses a textbook adoption process to receive book orders from faculty for every single class section on campus.

With a focus on lowering the cost of education, textbook adoption rates at BYU-Idaho are increasing every semester as every department across the university strives to get books ordered well before the start of each semester.

The textbook book adoption rate for the Fall 2019 Semester was an astounding 91.14 percent. That means more than 9 out of 10 faculty members had their book orders into their department secretaries by the May deadline.

In a span of just four years, the textbook adoption rate has increased approximately 11 percent with the rate at the due date in Fall 2015 Semester at 80.2 percent.

According to Auxiliary Services Managing Director Brett Cook, because of the university’s ability to order books so early “a student at BYU-Idaho pays 55 percent less than the national average per semester for their materials.”

Linda Munns, course materials manager, is responsible for all the Store’s textbook orders. She stays in close contact with each department secretary to inform them about upcoming deadlines of when faculty members need to have their book lists turned in. The department secretaries then relay the urgency to the faculty in their department. 

BYU-Idaho actively strives to keep the cost of education low for students. However, in order for costs to stay low, it is important that faculty members send in their book lists by the designated due date each semester. Late submissions result in higher book prices and less used book choices for students. In addition, the books may not be ordered in time for delivery prior to the start of the semester.

“Instructors are noticing that if students show up to the first day of class with their textbooks, they’re much more successful and ready to roll,” Munns stated, “They’re more willing to give us an adoption so we can make sure we have something on the shelf for the students.”

“There’s a process to get this. A deadline is in place so Linda and her team know what’s needed early and they can go out and source the materials and get them cheap,” Cook said. “If you miss the deadline, it automatically raises the cost of education to our students.” 

Once the book lists are turned in, Munns and her team can order the books before other universities submit orders and the demand increases the cost. Accurate book lists also allow transparency in what can be expected for the cost of the course. Students can plan for additional course expenses without any surprises in course materials and costs. 

Munns and Cook attend national conventions where they present how BYU-Idaho manages to achieve such high textbook adoption rates. While other schools are reaching an average of 30 to 40 percent, BYU-Idaho’s imperative to lower the cost of education for its students sets the university apart.

“Our adoption rates wouldn’t be where they are without the help of our faculty members who are on top of the deadlines,” Cook added.