Helpful Info for Parents

Welcome SUNY Oswego Parents! We understand that sending off your child to college is an emotional experience, especially when facing many unknowns. This page is meant to provide you answers, from textbooks to laptops to dorm linens.

The main topics that we will highlight are:


Dare to Compare! Our average textbook cost is considerably lower than the national average.  To help offset textbook costs, The College Stores has the largest selection of used textbooks and all of our textbooks are discounted. New textbooks are always discounted 10%! Throughout the media, a popular topic surrounding college bookstores is why are textbook prices so high? Textbooks are a valuable resource for students as they supplement and enhance classroom instruction, provide a common intellectual platform, and offer additional references and perspectives, and are excellent review tools. Textbook prices reflect real costs and a reasonable return on investment for authors, publishers, distributors, and college stores. Additionally, we also offer textbook rental for those students who would rather rent their textbooks each semester.

Because college stores interact with students and parents face-to-face, nobody is more aware of students' and parents' concerns about the cost of textbooks than The College Stores. Making used textbooks available is the single most significant way college stores can reduce students' textbook costs. The College Stores makes every attempt to have the largest selection of used textbooks available for students. There are circumstances where no used textbooks can be made available for courses when the professor has elected to use a textbook that is brand new or a new edition.

Buyback-Although your student may sell their textbooks back to The College Stores at any time during the semester, the best time to get the most value for textbooks is at our end of the semester buyback. This occurs on the Thursday of the final week of classes and continues until the last day of finals. There are a number of factors that determine how much the student receives back for their textbooks. The College Stores strives to pay 50% of what you paid for the textbook in the beginning of the semester depending on the condition of the book. Thus, if you paid $100 for a textbook, you could receive up to $50 at the end of the semester. For more information on our Buyback program and the factors that determine how much you may receive, please visit our Textbook Buyback page.

If you take the cost of the textbook in the beginning of the semester and apply the services and resources that The College  Stores strive to provide, you will find that The College Stores provides the lowest net cost of your textbooks.


The SUNY Oswego Inclusive Access program addresses these two key issues - textbook affordability and day one access to classroom materials. By giving students day one access to the textbook electronically in Blackboard, learning can start the first day of class. A charge will be put on the student's tuition bill for access to the classroom content. By doing this, we can work with book publishers to offer these resources at a discount.

How it Works

  • Instructors indicate to The College Book Store and their content publisher their desire to participate in the program. 

  • For courses using Pearson, students will get their access code from the Red Shelf link in Blackboard, and then use that to activate the Pearson textbook link. 

  • For all other publishers, no access code is required. You simply login to the textbook link and you're off and running.

For more information, visit the SUNY Oswego All Inclusive eTexts Initiative page...

Flex Plan-The One Card That Can Do It All!

With one swipe of your student ID card, the Flex Plan may be used to purchase anything from textbooks, art, computer, and school supplies to health and beauty products in The College Store's Hewitt locations. At the Campus Center, use your Flex Plan to pickup a sweatshirt for gameday or a Hallmark greeting card and gift for your family or friends. For those students with excess financial aid, simply log-on to MyOswego and shift your excess financial aid into you Flex Plan. No cash out of your pocket!

Convenience: No checkbook to balance, no cash to loose, no extra cards to carry! 
No Hassle: To enroll in the Flex Plan and have your deposit automatically added to your semester's tuition bill or transfer excess financial aid, please log into myOswego.
Refundability: All money that is deposited into the Flex Plan will have it's Fall semester balance rollover to the Spring semester. Remaining funds may be refunded upon request.

To Shift Financial Aid/Excess Funding into Your Flex Plan Account:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on Student Accounts link
  3. Click on Account Summary and select term
  4. Click link at bottom to create a College Store Flex Plan
  5. Enter amount and click "Add to Student Account"

Note: If your refund check has already been cut (see Account Summary), you will not be able to send additional money to The College Book Store.

Learn more about the Flex Plan...


Residence Hall Linens  Residence Hall Linens

Beds at SUNY Oswego do not have standard twin size mattresses. The mattresses measure 36" x 80" (XL Twin) and require extra long sheets and mattress pads.

The College Stores would like to introduce you to Our Campus Market - a convenient source for ordering all of your campus living needs. The College Stores has partnered with Our Campus Market to provide SUNY Oswego students and families with a convenient, affordable way to ensure you have sheets that will fit the extra-long mattresses in our dorms. From sheets and comforters to towels and bathroom essentials, you can turn a dorm room into your own personal sanctuary - choose from over 26 colors and patterns to fit your style!

This is the only school endorsed linen program. Shipping is free for all Value Pak orders, and linens are delivered to your home during the summer for extra convenience. Order now for the best selection - popular colors can sell out quickly! 

Store Return Policies

Occassionally, your student will need to return a textbook or other merchandise. The receipt must accompany all returns, absolutely no returns or exchanges without a receipt. Members of the College Stores staff are the final decision makers in all returns.

Refunds will be made in full using the following parameters:

  • Books sold as new books are to be returned in the same condition. This includes no marking of any kind in the book, no stains, no binding or cover damage and intact, sealed shrink-wrap.
  • Book returns may only be made through the date printed on the bottom of your receipt or posted around the book aisles. The general return time is the first 10 days after the first day of class, but this is subject to change each semester. For summer courses, the return time for textbooks is the first week of the class for that specific session.
  • Clothing should have all tags attached to the garment for return, and should not be worn or washed
  • Computers, computer supplies, MP3 players, software, mat board, art paper, and special orders are not refundable.
  • Delivery fees are not refundable

Refunds are made corresponding to the way in which the original purchase was paid:

Form of Payment  Form of Refund 
Cash Sale  Cash Refund 
Check Sale  Cash Refund after 7 days 
Credit Card  Credit issued to same credit card 
Student ID Card 

Credit issued to Student ID Card 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find out which books I need for class?
There are several ways you can access this information. This is the way we think is easiest:

  • Go to myOswego (
  • Login
  • Using the search window, type “week”. When the results come up, select “week at a glance schedule”
  • Click on the class for which you like course materials info
  • Click on the 5 digit CRN (Course Reference Number)
  • Text info appears
  • You may also go from our web site ( and follow the textbooks links.

When can I buy my books?
We take orders for course materials on-line beginning with registration through the semester’s end.

What is Dare to Compare?
Dare to Compare is the College Stores program to help you save money on textbooks. Many people assume because we are the on-campus bookstore, we will be higher priced than our competitors. That’s why we ask you to Dare to Compare! We believe if you compare our prices with other booksellers, you will choose us. We have great prices, convenient location and extended hours, plus there is NEVER sales tax on required course materials!

How can I pay?
If ordering online, we accept American Express, Discover, MC, and Visa. You may also create a Flex Plan.

May I add the cost of my textbooks and course materials to my tuition bill?
Yes, but it must be done by setting up a Flex Plan before the end of the first week of classes. Beyond the first week, the creation of a Flex Plan is only available to those students whose financial aid has not been disbursed.

What is a Flex Plan?
A Flex Plan is a convenient way to pay for things in our 3 on-campus College Stores locations. Funds are accessed through the student id card, so it’s convenient cashless payment without the need to carry around another card! For complete information, go to our Flex Plan information page.

Would you hold on to my credit card number and use it when my student needs to make purchases?
No. This would violate our compliance with the PCI DSS (payment card industry data security standard). For in store transactions, each customer needs to have her / his own card for sales and refunds. The card must be signed by the customer. We will compare the signature on the back of the card to the signature on the receipt and they must match.

When is my credit card or Flex Plan charged when I place an on-line order?
We do not charge your card until we prepare your order for pick up or shipment.

If a book is out of stock, am I charged?
You are not charged until we have the book available to send to you or for you to pick up.

Do you do “Back Order”?
For customers who ask to have their books shipped, we do our best to send back orders as they arrive in our store. For customers who ask to pick up their books in Hewitt, we may fill back orders up to the point at which an order is picked up. If you are missing a book from your order, you should not have been charged. Please check your receipt in your box to verify.

When will I receive or be able to pick up my books?
We begin to process on-line orders 3 weeks before the beginning of a semester. Delivery orders begin to be shipped from that point. Pick up orders are also processed and boxed for pick up. They are available for pick up beginning on the Thursday before the first day of classes. That is also the date when in-store shopping may begin.

Where do I pick up the texts I ordered on-line?
If you selected pick up in store, they will be available for the first week at a location in the southeast corner of Hewitt Union. After that, they will be available in Bookland on the main level of Hewitt.

I asked for my books to be delivered to my residence hall, but they aren’t there. What should I do?
We are not able to deliver books directly to your room, so please check at the front desk of your residence hall to see whether you have a package.

How do I find them if I come to Bookland in Hewitt?
The books in Bookland are arranged alphabetically by author’s last name. Additionally, we have staff members in the aisles to help you locate the correct books.

Do you sell e-books?
Some of our course materials come in electronic format. We work with instructors to have in stock the course materials in the format with which they would like to use their chosen materials. That can include an etext, homework software, test banks, workbooks, custom course packs as well as traditional textbooks. If we do not stock the information in your preferred format, we can order it for you.

What if I buy the wrong book or drop the class?
We will take the book back for a full refund providing the following conditions are met:

  • You have the receipt
  • It is in the same condition in which you purchased it.
  • For example:
  • Shrink wrapped books are still shrink wrapped
  • There is not writing or highlighting in the book
  • Access codes are intact and unopened.
  • The book is clean and free from stains and / or water damage
  • It is before the deadline noted on your receipt

    If I buy a used textbook, will it be the same edition as the new?
    Yes, unless an instructor specifically asks for an old edition to be used.

    What if I order a used book and you don’t have any?
    There is a place on the order form where you can indicate whether you would like us to substitute with a new copy at the new price. If you say no, do not substitute, you will not receive the book(s) if we are out of the used version even if we have it in stock in new. If you say yes, please substitute, you will receive a new book with the price adjusted to the new price. It works the same way if you order a new copy and we only have used.

    Why aren’t there used textbooks available for every course?
    There are several possibilities why we may not have used books. If an instructor has chosen a textbook that has a new edition, there would only be new available. If the instructor has chosen a book that comes with access codes, we would usually only have new. If an instructor has chosen an e-text and / or homework access code, that would only be available new. We are not always able to have enough copies of used books and when they are gone, we then have only new available.

    Why does the web page show used when you do not have any used?
    Our textbook management system automatically shows a new and used price for all texts. For those course materials which we will never sell used, we turn off the used price, but if there is a chance we will have a used version we leave it. Also, at this point, our web site is not on real time with our inventory.

    Why would a book be out of stock if the web page says it is in stock?
    Unfortunately, our web site is not real time with our inventory.

    Will you buy back my books at the end of the semester?
    We would love to buy your books back at the end of the semester. Here’s how it works:

    • If your instructor has told us that he / she will be using the same material for the following semester, we generally pay half of the CS selling price.
    • If we have heard nothing from the instructor, or if we have heard and different materials will be used and it is a current edition, we look to see which of our wholesalers will offer the best price and we pay that price for them. That can be up to about a third of the selling price.
    • If we have no order and it is still a current edition, but the wholesalers are not buying, we suggest you hang on to it for another semester. There are some classes that are only taught once a year, so for example, a text used in a fall class may be used again the following fall. We would buyback books for the fall semester in May, not December.
    • If it is an old edition, we pay $1.00 for hard covers and $.50 for paperbacks that we then donate to charity.

      Will you buy back books from another school or that were not purchased from the College Stores?
      Yes! The only thing we need for you to sell back books is ID – either a SUNY Oswego id or NYS drivers license.

      Should I rent or buy?
      There are several factors to consider when making this decision.

      • Will I have any use for this book in the future? Some books are used for 2 semesters of a course. If a book needs to be rented for 2 semesters, purchasing the book just once plus the ability to sell back may make purchasing less money in the long run.
      • Will you pay attention to the details of returning the book? Each site is different, but if you incur fees for late return or non-return of the book, it may save you to buy the book over rent.
      • When comparing costs, look at when the book was published. Recent editions will have greater likelihood of being bought back by us or resold by you. This means the true cost of buying is purchase – buyback = net vs rental costs.
      • Will your class use an on-line homework component connected with the text? Don’t hesitate to ask your instructors questions before classes begin. Also ask how much of the book will be used and for what period of the class – the entire semester, the first half or just a week or two – some sites will rent for periods shorter than a semester and this could save money for you.

          Why aren’t all titles available for rental?
          There are different reasons a title may not be available. Some are:

          • The book is a custom edition designed by your instructor with the publisher and is unique to the SUNY Oswego campus.
          • The course utilizes on-line access codes that must be purchased new each semester.
          • The title is not in wide use.