Today@Sam Article

Bearkat Bundle: SHSU’s New Textbook Rental Program

Sept. 15, 2020
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

Beginning in the spring 2021 semester, Sam Houston State University is partnering with Barnes and Noble to provide an all-encompassing, affordable textbook rental program that will provide students with all required textbooks, lab manuals, access codes, and electronic book versions before the first day of class each semester.

The “Bearkat Bundle” will charge students a flat rate of $23.75 per credit hour and is expected to save the average student 40% to 50% on the cost of their textbooks, or $150 to $250 per semester. Students will be automatically opted-in to this new program, but the option to opt-out via the Bearkat Bundle website is available until the 12th class day.

The Bearkat Bundle is a rental program. Books are picked up or delivered before the first day of class and due to be returned during the week of finals. However, students may also permanently purchase the textbooks at the end of each semester.


“This is a rental program, but it will not change how students use their books. Students can highlight in their books, write in them, and use them as they would normally and then return them at the end of the semester. Consumable books, such as lab manuals, do not have to be returned.” said Kristy Vienne, assistant vice president of Auxiliary Affairs. “This is a great option for students. There is no cheaper way to receive a full semester’s worth of textbooks. Having all their books on the first day of class will lead to a level playing field and be a great way for our students to start each semester.”

The push for an affordable textbook rental program came from student feedback in recent years.

“We worked with the Student Government Association as part of this program and conducted a survey in spring 2019,” Vienne said. “More than 70% of students were in favor of this type of program and that was pretty overwhelming in our decision to move forward.”

How it works:

-Register for classes

Upon registration, students will be automatically enrolled into the program and the bookstore will start preparing your order.

-Verify your order

Starting 30 days before the first day of classes, you will receive an email verifying your order and delivery preference.

-Receive your books

You will receive an email notifying you when your order is ready for pickup or when it ships.

“Another important part of this program is that no faculty behavior will have to change,” Vienne said. “If your chemistry professor wants a new hardback version of the textbook for the semester, then that is how it will be delivered to students. If the professor wants a hardback book, a digital book, and a lab manual, that can also be provided. This is not all electronic or all hardback. Whatever our faculty want to adopt, this program can provide.”

The Bearkat Bundle is currently only for undergraduate students at SHSU and does not include School of Nursing students, Graduate School students or College of Osteopathic Medicine students.

“We want to make this a program that is for the students, that is beneficial in all regards of cost, convenience and accessibility to textbooks.”

To find out more information about the Bearkat Bundle visit

- END -

This page maintained by SHSU's Communications Office:

Director of Content Communications: Emily Binetti

Communications Manager: Mikah Boyd
Telephone: 936.294.1837

Communications Specialist: Campbell Atkins
Telephone: 936.294.2638

Please send comments, corrections, news tips to