The University of Connecticut has added $4.25 million in scholarship aid after generating just over $9 million in revenue since switching over its bookstore operations to Barnes & Noble College, according to a UConn press release.
The press release said the increased revenues from the new partnership with Barnes & Noble would create “significant savings” and have great benefit to students on campus.
“More than $4.25 million has gone directly into scholarships so far, with the rest paying for projects such as renovations and capital projects in the university-owned spaces that the bookstore leases,” UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said in the press release.
UConn students also saved about $661,000 in the Fall 2017 semester through Barnes & Noble’s increased selection of rented, used and digital books, according to the press release.
Eighth-semester statistics major Jonathan Williams said he hasn’t seen any of the savings himself but likes that the money is going toward scholarships.
“(The bookstore) seems to have gotten a little more expensive,” Williams said. “But as long as they’re using the money for the right cause, I’m okay with it.”
According to the press release, of the approximately $9 million in revenue, about $4.5 million was generated in the 2016/2017 academic year through sales and book rentals while the other approximate $5 million was provided by Barnes & Noble College under the terms of its contract with the university.
UConn President Susan Herbst said in the press release that she is extremely satisfied with what Barnes & Noble has brought to UConn and its goal to give back.
“Not only do we have outstanding bookstores through our relationship with Barnes & Noble, we are also able to put millions more into student financial aid,” Herbst said. “Our bookstore locations are a significant part of the student experience, and the revenue generated directly supports affordability. We could not be happier.”
Barnes & Noble not only began operating the Storrs campus bookstore in 2016, but also added a Hartford location in 2017 – the first bookstore in the city since the last one closed in the early 2000s, according to a UConn Today post.
Among the most excited for the new location is Barnes & Noble regional manager Neil LeBeau, who said in the press release that these bookstores provide a good location for people to gather or relax.
“(The Hartford location) has been a very exciting project,” says LeBeau. “We want that store to be viewed as a resource and venue not only for the UConn campus community there, but also for the city and the entire greater Hartford area.”
Andrew Miano is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.