The Husky Book Bundle is lit 

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The UConn Bookstore is a central point of campus where students can get school spirit clothing, technology, textbooks, and so much more. The bookstore sits at the junction of Jim Calhoun Way and Hillside Road right next to Gampel Pavilion. Photo by Izzi Barton/Daily Campus.

It is entirely possible that my editor makes me take this part out, however, I’d like to begin by stating that what you’ll find in this article is a true rarity: A Daily Campus writer is about to write something good about the University of Connecticut, and that the Husky Book Bundle is a good thing for the university to provide. 

Before I even look at the cost analysis of what the bundle can save students and the other benefits it provides, the most important aspect of the Husky Book Bundle is that it’s optional. It is practically impossible to say something bad about it because if it does not benefit the student, they can simply opt out of it. The individual decision-making aspect of the Book Bundle is unlike many other fees and fundamentally makes it impossible to negatively impact the student community, outside of the obvious potential for user error. The only occasion that may cause students to lose is if they pay for the book bundle and then buy their books anyways, either because they failed to opt out properly or didn’t realize the program exists.  

However, looking at the numbers behind the book bundle, I believe that many students will find it financially beneficial. According to the program’s website, students “will save an average of 35-50%” on course materials if they use the bundle. The program saves students money, which is extremely important with college prices being as high as they are. Additionally, with textbooks now considerably cheaper, there is less of a concern that students may fail to purchase course materials for financial reasons and subsequently lose out on valuable resources that can be utilized to succeed in their classes. 

The second major benefit of the Husky Book Bundle is its convenience. Instead of students scrambling to buy their textbooks in the first week of school, returning books for classes they dropped and making sure they have the right version, they can skip the shopping and just have the books shipped to their house. This past semester I got my physical textbooks shipped to me before the semester even started, making life significantly easier. This draws a stark contrast to my last semester, where I had to dedicate much more time to ensure I had the necessary materials for class. Additionally, students no longer have to spend time looking for the cheapest version of the book in order to save money because the Book Bundle is a flat rate. The payment is the same regardless of having the more or less expensive version of the text. On top of that, if a student adds or drops a course, they’re still covered by the Book Bundle. There are so many reasons why the book bundle makes students’ lives easier. 

Finally, the Husky Book Bundle also allows students to assess their courses immediately. Students don’t have to wait to buy a textbook until they see if they’re going to stay in the course, as it is sent to them regardless. This program “gives undergraduate students access to all required textbooks, lab manuals, access codes and electronic book versions in a convenient bundle before the first day of class.” Students can now hit the ground running as soon as the semester starts instead of running to get their textbooks. 

The Husky Book Bundle is all positive. Students can save money and time — assets that are invaluable for a busy college student. This option has the potential to make life easier for so many people. And in the case that a student feels they won’t benefit from this program, they can just opt-out. You can’t lose. 

2 COMMENTS

  1. “the payment is the same regardless of having the more or less expensive version of the text.” WRONG
    how does paying $285 equate to the cheaper (usually free) alternatives found online or on other websites than the bookstore?
    “students no longer have to spend time looking for the cheapest version of the book in order to save money…” WRONG
    how does paying $285 equate to saving money? Because the price of the books don’t matter? Sure, if they add up to more than $285. Glad to see the UNiversity proved that students are foolish enough to buy into this scam.

  2. Actually, if you look deeper into the 35-50% that marketing materials assert that students save, B&N uses that number across all of their First Day Complete programs in the US. It is not a statistic that is specific to UConn and it is not accurate either. Preliminary surveys done by UConn PRAXIS found that students actually pay an average of about $150 per semester, so this program does not, statistically, benefit the majority of students. More survey data is currently being collected. Additionally, it doesn’t include any of the most expensive course materials which are lab supplies, art supplies, which can cost in the upper hundreds. Also, if a student takes a series of classes using the same book, they have to pay for that book multiple times because Book Bundle is rental only. The program also makes it such that students lose the choice of print vs. digital materials, which is a serious accessibility issue that could inhibit student learning. Also, and I could keep going for awhile, the poorly advertised opt-out option was designed by B&N to capture more of the student market because textbooks are not a profitable product for them. UConn agreed to this program because B&N gives UConn significant funding, so UConn wants to keep them happy. I really wish the author did more research and looked into the program more deeply before writing this. It could really be harmful to students and lead them to make uninformed choices because contrary to the author’s assertion that “ The Husky Book Bundle is all positive” I believe I have very clearly demonstrated the contrary.

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