If you are like me, you anxiously wait for that financial aid disbursement date. The glorious day when you get the refund for the difference between your tuition bill and your student loans. That much needed money allows me to buy my books for the semester. Unfortunately, I don’t have $700 lying around the house that I can use beforehand. I NEED THAT MONEY! When that disbursement date is scheduled for after the start of the semester, panic sets in.
“I’ll be the only one in class without my books!”
“What if they assign homework on the first day? I won’t have the book to work from!”
Normally, I sit in anxiety and pray that I can make it through the week until I get that money and can buy my books from whichever place wants to charge me the most. Not anymore! Fear not, classmates, for I have discovered the hidden gem that is the campus bookstore account. *cue angelic sounds*
The campus bookstore account works like this; set up the account, connect it to your student ID, it puts the charge for your books on your University bill with your tuition, when financial aid is disbursed it pays for tuition and the books. What is the best part? You get your books immediately without having to wait for disbursement.
Setting up the account
Open up your browser and make your way to http://www.stonybrook.edu/bookstore
Scroll all the way down the page to “Related Websites” and click on Bookstore Campus Account. That takes you to http://bca.fsa.sunysb.edu/
Read this page. Don’t say I didn’t tell you to read how it works.
When you’re done, click on Sign Up!
For some reason, it now takes you to another page where you have to click Sign Up again to get the application form
Now you get a very fancy Google doc where you need to fill out your name, email, ID# and ph#. Enter it all and click Continue.
Agree to the terms and conditions (READ THEM!), choose your semester and pick Create a Plan or Upgrade if you already have a plan.
If you are creating a new account, you’ll need to choose how much you want to have on your bookstore account. I went to the bookstore site, added all my books to the cart and got a total. That’s how I chose how much money to put on my plan. Select an amount, submit and you’re done. Easier than ordering your quad grande six pump vanilla one inch steamed breve Americano at Starbucks.
Buying your books
Now is the easy part. Buying your books. There are two ways to do this. 1. Pull up the bookstore site. Look up all your books one by one, class by class, add them to your cart.
Want an easier way? Option 2 is to go to SOLAR and login.
Once you’re logged in, click on Enrollment under Student Records and Registration. Then click on My Class Schedule.
Get to your list of courses and choose View Textbook Summary.
When your list of books loads, click on textbook pricing/purchase.
The site will look up all of your books and you just have to choose what format you want them in. Add the books you want to your cart and then click on Checkout.
It will prompt you to login (create an account in about 30 seconds if you don’t have one) and will then ask you how you want to get your books; pick up or ship to you. Choose pick up. It’s easier.
On the next screen, you have to select a payment type. Select FINANCIAL AID. This is how you charge it to your bookstore account. Enter your Student ID and that is it. You’re done! You’ll now get an email confirmation that you’ve ordered your books and you’ll get an email when they are ready to pick up. It’s usually about 24 hours from the time you order. Pretty easy and no headache.
Now, I know what you are thinking. You’ve read our other blog posts about how to get textbooks on the cheap. You’ve checked out your books on all the other sites we’ve mentioned and have found where to buy them to get the best deal. This post won’t help you if you are getting all of your books elsewhere. However, if you have classes like mine then you have professors who like to use ‘custom’ books that only can be bought through Stony Brook. That means you have to buy them through the school booksstore and can make use of this. This semester I found one of my books much cheaper on Amazon. Like whoa. The catch? It wasn’t going to be delivered until halfway through the semester! I couldn’t wait that long.
I signed up for the bookstore account on Thursday. My books were ready to be picked up Friday. I didn’t hand over any money to them and they handed me $700 in books. Sounds like an even exchange to me! My financial aid disburses later this week and that is when the bookstore will get paid. If anything goes wrong…they know where to find you.
If you have any questions about setting up your bookstore account you can contact the Stony Brook University Bookstore at (631) 632-6550.