Parents and Families

Student looking through stacks of books

It may seem early to think about buying books for the winter semester, but thanks to the partnership between the University of Michigan and Barnes & Noble College, students are able to efficiently purchase books via an online portal. The portal includes a link to required and recommended course materials directly from the university’s class registration site.

The university moved to an online bookstore model in fall 2018 to focus on a course-driven system that ensures students order and receive the right book, right on time. The system ensures students have the most options at affordable pricing for their course materials. Textbooks are shipped and received by students within a couple of days. 

"Our top priority is that students have access to all the textbooks and course materials they need – when they need them, so we encourage students to order early. Should the student change courses and no longer need the textbook, there is an easy return policy," says Susan Pile, Senior Director of University Unions and Auxiliary Services. "Ordering early helps students be prepared for the first day of class and get a jump on the semester."

Two on-campus locations -- Pierpont Commons and a temporary location in the Shapiro Undergraduate Library -- serve as hubs to pick-up and return textbook orders. The Shapiro location will close in late January and Barnes & Noble will be located in the renovated Michigan Union 

Both students and faculty will have access to an online portal that is integrated with U-M course information and customized to their class schedules. Students can follow these steps to order online, day or night: 

  1. Visit the Online Bookstore or select materials from a customized schedule in Wolverine Access. 
  2. View their course materials and select their preferred format.
  3. Check out and purchase.

In addition:

  • Students can opt to have textbooks shipped to designated campus locations or to their home.
  • There is free shipping for students who send their purchases to the two campus pick-up locations.
  • Returns sent from the campus locations are also shipped for free.
  • Students and faculty have access to numerous customer service options, including face-to-face assistance at campus locations, a customer support phone number staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, virtual chat assistants, and a dedicated campus textbook liaison.

The online store also provides students with a variety of options to buy or rent new or used, or access as digital. It also has selection tools and cost comparisons of the various book formats available.

In addition, many textbook titles display a guaranteed “buy-back” price before students order them, so the true cost of ownership is better known at the time of purchase.


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