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Getting textbook orders into the bookstore early is the best way for UH departments to help minimize textbook costs for students. Many UH departments have made decisions for the upcoming semesters in order to meet the federal deadline and give the bookstore enough time to shop around for the best prices and all available options.

A textbook provision was added to the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) in July 2010 that included stipulations on textbook orders in order to help students know the textbook costs for a course and allow them time to find alternative purchasing options. Texas also recently passed the House Bill 33 that provides similar stipulations on textbook adoptions which will go into effect for fall 2012. The UH Bookstore had a deadline of March 23 to obtain all textbook orders for the 2012 summer and fall semesters. This gives the bookstore time to search for used, digital and rental options available for the titles as well as provide time for orders to arrive from the publishers by the first day of classes.

Deidre Tubbs, Office Assistant for the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies, coordinates the textbook orders each semester for their faculty members. She said she sends out an initial email to her group to let them know the deadline is coming up and to start thinking about what books they want to use the following semester. Then follow-up emails are sent with specific dates to remind them to submit their textbook orders to the bookstore by the deadline. Tubbs said she and her department understand the importance of giving the bookstore time to get the books ordered.

“I think it is important so that the books can be available for students at the beginning of the semester and they won’t fall behind. Also, so that we can find out if the book is available or being published so that other arrangements can be made,” she said.

The Department of Economics has also been successful in obtaining textbook orders by the HEOA deadline with 95-100 percent of orders entered into the online bookstore system on time for the past four years. The order forms are passed out to the faculty members with all their course numbers listed. The faculty then fill out the forms and turn them in to their department administrator who submits the orders online to the bookstore. Department representatives said the faculty is conscientious that a delay in ordering could cause an expense to students. Students can receive up to 50 percent of the original selling price during buybacks if the textbook will be used the following semester. Economics faculty also receive feedback from their students regarding textbook costs and try to help out as much as they can.

The more time the bookstore has to explore publisher prices and available options such as digital, rental and used versions of the textbook, the more likely a student will have the most affordable options ready and available for purchase by the beginning of the semester.

To provide course textbook information, please submit textbook requests online at under the “Faculty” tab or send an email to Please include the book title, ISBN, course/section and enrollment information with all requests.