Program helps students afford textbooks

Michele Mathis and Michele Mathis

With the constant rise in prices for textbooks, finding a way to pay for all of them can be tricky.

There are options for students who need help with buying textbooks out of pocket with the Opting Program that the bookstore provides if students apply for financial aid.

The Opting Program is designed “to help students purchase essential student textbooks, technology products and course supplies prior to the start the semester,” according to the Bookstore’s page on BGSU’s website.

Each student using the Opting Program can buy their essential textbooks, but also such things as computer chargers, flash-drives, even University apparel.

Desiree McCray, freshman, said, “I used mine for my Algebra book… Now, I have [that] money to use [for] more.”

Students can apply for the Opting Program online before the beginning of each semester after submitting a FAFSA and showing proof of employment if a student currently holds a job.

Alex Morgan, a freshman at the University, explained that she heard about the Opting Program at her orientation.

According to Brian Martinez, the Bursar’s senior administrative assistant, while students can apply at any time, the cut off date is the first Friday of each semester to “accommodate for students who get late awards or scholarship.”

The highest amount that a student can receive from this program is 700 dollars, although Martinez stated that it is dependent on each student’s financial situation.

The Bursar and the Bookstore have teamed up to make the Opting Program successful in the past few years.

“This program was re-tooled this year and we’ve seen a rise in participation,” Martinez said.

The textbook department has seen an increase in the amount of students that show up to get their textbooks. Even though the textbook prices themselves don’t change, students have less pressure on them to search for the cheapest option.

The Bookstore usually gets a large influx of students’ orders right before the semester, which they call the “rush period.”

Students can apply for the Opting Program through MyBGSU under the search, “BGSU Bookstore.” There they can find more information on the program benefits, eligibility criteria and how to apply along with an instructional video.