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The Mizzou Store Driving Down Cost of Course Materials

More than 70 percent of books purchased for less than $55

Published March 14, 2017
Updated March 16, 2017
Story by Michelle Froese and Josh Murray

As the cost of higher education continues to rise, The Mizzou Store has implemented innovative strategies to make course materials more affordable for students. These strategies saved Mizzou students $5.3 million last year when compared to new book prices. 

A student reads a book

Nicole Osberg photo courtesy of The Mizzou Store

“Our stores are committed to finding the most cost-effective materials selected by faculty,” said Sherry Pollard, director of the UM Campus Stores. “We focus first on our students by using flexible, hybrid solutions which include rental, used, custom course packs and digital versions.” 

A review of all course materials sold at The Mizzou Store in Fall 2016 found that that 71 percent of books were purchased for less than $55.

The store’s decision to aggressively pursue an inclusive access model (AutoAccess) has saved Mizzou students $3.5 million (compared to previous adoptions) since the program began in 2014. AutoAccess is a partnership with major publishers and faculty that provides digital course content via the campus learning management system at a reduced cost.  

The Mizzou Store continues to collaborate with others on campus and invest in Open Educational Resources, which offers another opportunity for savings and can benefit students through easy accessibility at a very low cost. The Mizzou Store and partner stores at Missouri S&T, UMKC and UMSL continue to deliver the resources to meet faculty needs and best serve student learning styles, while achieving maximum cost savings. Collectively, the UM Campus Stores provide more rental units, used books and digital books than any other institutional or independent college store in the U.S., saving students on all campuses $8.3 million last year.  

About the University of Missouri Campus Stores: The UM Campus Stores operate as a self-supporting campus auxiliary. Strategic partnerships with each UM campus, shared support services and centralized buying allows greater income to flow to each campus through reduced expenses, improved operational efficiencies and across-the-board economies of scale. One hundred percent of store profits are reinvested back into the campuses served, providing financial support for facilities and programs that benefit University of Missouri students.

Published by the Division of Student Affairs, 211 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211 | Phone: 573-882-6776 | Fax: 573-882-0158 | E-mail:

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Last updated: Aug. 7, 2017