The UCCS Bookstore is a one-stop shop for students to get their books, supplies, liquor equipment, and convenience items. But how do their prices compare to other major retailers and do students get the best deal?
Buying textbooks from the bookstore has its advantages. According to their website, they make sure they can provide the right books for UCCS courses, work with many payment options, and offer a one-stop shop for all the necessary course materials.
Historically, however, college students are not the financially secure population, and convenience comes at a price.
The average price for the first two semesters of a freshman’s books can be calculated using the recommended courses per semester for each major on the UCCS website; For example, according to Niche.com graduation numbers, the top three degrees at UCCS are business administration, nursing, and psychology.
The average cost of textbooks for one semester in any of the three major courses at the bookstore is $ 556.25. If the student were to buy the same books on Amazon, they would pay an average of $ 583.90.
There have been few instances where Amazon offered lower prices than the bookstore, so querying large retailers for prices can come up with better deals. Students can also save money by borrowing or buying used textbooks.
In some cases, a price comparison is not possible as the required books for some majors are only available through UCCS, while some classes instead use open source material that is free for the student.
Some courses at UCCS use Day One Access online textbooks and include the costs in the student bill for the semester. However, students can opt out of this automatic fee and purchase the textbook from another dealer.
The bookstore also offers a price comparison tool on their website that allows students to compare prices from various online sources. Purchasing from these sources through the UCCS Bookstore website will continue to benefit from UCCS.
For common school supplies such as writing utensils and notebooks, the UCCS Bookstore is on average 89.9% more expensive than Walmart for the same or similar products. The greatest differences were found in the pens, paper and notebooks sold in bookshops.
While a composition notebook at the bookstore costs $ 3.19, students can find the same composition notebook at Walmart for 50 cents. Likewise, spiral-themed notebooks cost 99 cents in bookstores and 25 cents at Walmart. Similar price differences can be found for ballpoint pens and pencils.
The bookstore is a better option for graph paper and some mechanical pencils, however, with discounts averaging 39%. It is also cheaper to buy multiple notebooks in bookstores, where the discount on triple and five-fold notebooks is an average of 32%.
The bookstore price is similar for most of the items you would find in a supermarket, but some of the personal health items and beverages are significantly more expensive.
Most bookstore drink prices are the same, if not cheaper, than in a convenience store. However, we found the exception with energy drinks. On average, Monsters, Red Bulls and Rockstars are 71% more expensive than the same products on 7/11.
Everyday hygiene items like lip balm and tampons are over 100% more expensive than at Walmart.
According to their website, buying from the bookstore will aid UCCS students as the proceeds will fund scholarships, UCCS clubs, and student staff salaries.
The bookstore offers students a convenient option at competitive prices on most products. School supplies aside, students can rest assured that they will pay similar, if not discounted, prices for their books and snacks when they are in one of the top three programs at UCCS.