For Parents

 Many parents have the same questions.  The ones we hear most often are listed below, and hopefully, an answer that gives you what you need to know.  We also suggest you read through many of the student questions.  This will help you understand more of the details that they need to know. 

When you come into the store with your student, we try to work with the student so that they understand how everything works.  As parents, you can ask all the questions you need, and we will happily answer them.  We know that our students are the ones who will be coming in occasionally for items, as well as coming to buyback, so making sure they are informed is important to us.

Where are you located and where can I park?

Our St Paul Campus Store is located in the lower level of Murray-Herrick (MHC).  You may park in the Anderson Ramp located at the corner of Grand Avenue and Cretin Avenue on the south campus or in the visitor parking area in the Morrison Ramp located under Morrison Hall on the north campus. The Morrison ramp is accessed off of Selby Avenue.  These are both pay ramps.  You may park on the street along campus.  Please read ALL signs for any street parking restrictions.

Our Minneapolis Campus Store is located on the first floor of Terrance Murphy Hall(TMH) on the corner of 10th Street and LaSalle Avenue.  You may park on the street or in any ramp in the area. 

Our Tommie Shop is located on the first floor of Anderson Student Center (ASC).  Parking options will be the same as for the St Paul Campus store.

Do you sell laptops in your stores?

We do not.  You can check out any deals on laptops by clicking on this link.  This is the University's ITS department.

Do you carry dorm room supplies/where do I find out what my student needs for their dorm room?

This is an important question for all new students.  Knowing what and what not to bring makes moving in much easier.  We carry limited items here in the Campus Stores as space does not allow.  We do have an association with Bed Bath and Beyond to help you with what your student will need.  Check their site at  Click on the School Info Sheet button near the upper right for a general checklist of needs. More specific information will be available through St Thomas Residence Life.

How does my student get their books?

Your student can come into the store with their schedule on paper or on their phone. They may also bring the list they have generated from the website as if they are placing an order, or their syllabus from each class they are enrolled in.  In store, we can help them understand how to find what they need, and show them how everything works. 

They can also place an order online for a reservation or to have materials shipped to them.  The reservation option is only available until shortly before classes begin and does have a small fee that will show as a shipping fee.  Choose PICK UP ORDER to have your items held for reservation. Shipments are sent via FedEx. 

NOTE: The reservation (PICK UP ORDER) option is only available before fall and spring semesters, and only until the day before pickup begins.  At that time, orders places will be FedEx shipped.  FedEx orders must be shipped to a valid street address.  A dorm name and room number is NOT a valid street address. 

Where do I get the list of books my student needs?

Your student can go to the website and enter their schedule as if they are placing an order.  They can then print out this list of books and bring it with them when purchasing their books.  This list is all the books the instructor has requested us to carry for your class. You are not required to purchase every book on the list at once, just know that any books needed after mid-semester may not be available due to contracts with our supplier to send them back.  We do suggest that all books are purchased as soon as possible.

Can I use a Credit Card over the phone

For clothing and gift orders only.  We do not take textbook orders over the phone.  For textbook orders, we will refer you to the website to place your order there.  Gift and clothing orders can be placed on the website also. 

If you would like your student to use your credit card for the purchase of their books in store, and you are unable to come in to the store with them, you can provide them with the card number and expiration date.  We can then enter in the information for the charge, have them sign their name and write their UST ID number on the slip. 

Another option is for you to add funds to your students express account using a credit card.  Please check the Card Office site for all the details on this.

How do I put the charge for books on my student's account for financial aid to pay?

Go to to be billed for it (Bill Me option) along with tuition, room and board, and any other fees that may be charged to your student's account.  We have tablets at the registers for you to set up the Bill Me option.  Funds can be added at any time.  A minimum of $50.00 and a maximum of $800.00 per day is set by the Card Office.  If you are using this payment method for text reservation or FedEx shipment, funds MUST be available at the time you place the order.  Orders with non-sufficient funds will be delayed and may not be filled complete or as requested.

Can I put funds on my student's express account using my credit card?

Yes you can!  This is a great way to get some extra funds for a small fee.  Go to and follow the instructions for adding funds.  Using a credit card will put an extra 5% on the account.  There is a flat fee of $1.50 for using the credit card option each time you add funds.  For more information on this, check out the Card Office site at  For security reasons, we require that you do this on your personal computer or phone, not on the tablets we have at our registers.

Why would my student want to rent a book?

There are many reasons.  First, renting is less expensive.  There should be an asterisk after this as it is less expensive provided the book is returned as a rental return by the end of the semester.  At that point, a fee for the non-returned book will be charged to your students account. 

Along with it being less expensive, if it is a book your student thinks they do not want to keep, and yes, some students do keep books, then at the end of the semester, they simply return it.  This is a good option, especially if the instructors have chosen to use a different book the next semester.  When that happens, we would be buying back the book for wholesale cost only, which is much lower than what we would offer if it was being used here. 

If a rental book is brought to us in bad condition - dirty, wet, stained - there is a chance we will not accept it back.  There would then be a charge for the price difference on their student account for this book just as if they forgot to return it.

Can my student pick up other items along with their textbook order?

Yes, you can do all your shopping in one place. If it's on our website and you are placing an order, you can include anything from sweatshirts to notebooks and we will put them together to be picked up.  You can also order from clothing or gift sections of the website, and have your items available for pickup along with your text reservation.

What do we do if we already bought our student's books and now the professor changed?

This is one of the great things about buying from the Campus Store instead of online elsewhere else or from a different source. As with any retail business, if you purchase ANYTHING from the Campus Stores or Tommie Shop it is always a good idea to keep your receipt.  At our registers, we can email you a receipt at the time of purchase, so you will always have a copy.  This is a really great feature we offer!  If your instructor changes, you can bring in your books, the receipt and your schedule that will show the changes.  We will be happy to refund you for the books you do not need due to an instructor change.  This must be done in a reasonable time frame.  Waiting until three or four weeks into the semester may mean we will not offer a full refund.

I placed my student's book order online, will you have everything in stock from where you get those books/ the only option was FedEx/ was not filled completely/ was placed weeks ago and not yet received/ was charged for all new books or charged twice. Why?

When we receive a text order, we pick your student's order off of the same shelves they would if they were in the store.  We do not have another space where we hold books for orders.  You will see us filling orders along with helping customers in the store. 

Reservations placed within one to two days of classes starting will only be available to be shipped FedEx.  At that time, we believe that we can save you the picking fee, and you can easily come in to purchase the books you need. 

If your order was not filled completely, the reason is that we held on to your order as long as possible waiting for all items to be available.  As this was not the case, we filled your order as completely as possible to ship to you or set for reservations.  There are many reasons why items were not in your order.  Some include receiving the text request late from the instructor, shipping delays from the company, the instructor changed and therefore required texts changed, and possibly that the instructor allowed more students into the class than the enrollment listed when we ordered, or another section was opened up/chose to use the same text and we were not informed far enough in advance. 

Your packing slip/receipt should show what items you did not receive in your order and you can stop into the Campus Store to pick up those last few items.  Know that duplicated material is usually not available until the second or third week of class, so this may not be in your shipment.  We do our best to get more material in as soon as possible. 

If you placed your order more than three weeks before the start of fall or spring semester, we are waiting for texts to arrive and will be filling orders as soon as possible.  We fill in the order in which they were received, and as best as we can with used/new choices. 

In placing an order, as with any online order, a hold of funds will be placed on your account.  In our system, the hold will be for the total of all new books in case used are not available.  This information is stated in the confirmation email you will receive.   In the filling and processing of your order, your actual charge will be for only the items you are receiving, and the price of new or used, whichever was shipped.  This will show as a second charge on your account.  Know that this first, probably higher amount will fall off as a hold/pending amount within a few days.  You were not charged twice.  You will receive emails from us with actual amounts.

My student needs to return this book. What do I need to do?

This is the same as stated in the student section on returns:

YOU NEED YOUR RECEIPT.  We cannot repeat this enough.  You need your receipt. 

You have the first FOUR days of class to return a text.  This is listed on your receipt, and you were probably informed of this at the time of purchase.  You will have paperwork to fill out, and if it was paid for with a credit card of some sort, a card must be presented for the funds to be returned.  It does not have to be the same card.  Basically, the refund will be given in the same way it was paid, be it credit card, express account, or cash.  Checks may have a hold time, and the funds will not be given in cash immediately.  If new, the text must be in new condition with no highlighting or writing.  Access codes must not be registered.  These issues will alter the refund amount. It is a good idea to save the plastic wrapping if you think you may need to return the text. 

After the first four days, you MUST be dropping the class and have finalized proof that you are no longer enrolled in the class. You can bring in your updated schedule, your finalized drop form, or your phone showing your updated schedule.  We need proof.  Again, YOU NEED YOUR RECEIPT.  The policy remains the same for new texts and access codes as stated above.  Also, funds will be returned as stated above.  Check the calendars as there are deadlines on these types of returns.  Best idea is to finalize the drop and return the books as soon as you have documentation. 

Many times we will get calls asking when the funds will be available/back on on the credit/debit cards.  We process our transactions every day.  Your financial institution will have record of the return of funds, and it is a long time practice that funds are taken quickly, and returned slowly.  You will need to check with your financial institution on their policies.  UST Express funds are available immediately. 

You, as the parent, can let them handle it.  If the original purchase was put on a card, your student just needs a card of some sort to put the funds on.  We do not give cash for credit/debit card purchases.

Do you have this in used/ why do we have to buy new/why are you out of this book?

There are so many reasons why we may not have exactly what you are looking for. If you ask if we have a text in a used copy, you will find out that we have put all our used copies out on the shelf with only a few new ones for those people who want a new text.  For the most part, if you don't see it used, either we had none, or they have all sold out.  Your only option is new.

As for there being only new texts as the option, the reasons for this come from the department instructors. Many departments have chosen to use looseleaf books with the webassign.  These are initially less expensive than a hardbound text.  The issue is that we do not buy back many of the looseleaf texts because we cannot guarantee that all the pages are there, and to purchase a used looseleaf and a new webassign would be more costly than purchasing the package new.  This pricing is out of our control.  Another reason for only new availability is that the instructor(s) have chosen to use a new edition, and therefore, there will be no used. 

As for why we may be out of a book, the reasons are:  The instructor placed/changed their order very late and we have not yet received what they requested.  The instructor chose a text that is hard to find, possibly out of print, and we are doing our best to locate copies for the students.  Some instructors have chosen to use a text being used by other sections of the same class, and did not inform us of this.  We are then out of stock faster, and have to get more ordered to cover that section, and the sections that did request the text.  We base our orders on the instructors who request the texts.  We do not order more than we need.

My student's birthday is coming up/isn't feeling well/has an interview coming up, is there anything I can do for a gift?

Yes!  We do custom gift packages for almost any occasion!  We will work with you to design a package specifically for your student.  We do birthdays, get well, and special events.  Items included in the package can be anything from a card, balloon, food items, gift items, gift cards, or clothing.  The cost is up to you.  Whatever you want in the package.  We will give you a total amount before we put it all together.

Everything you and your student need to know about buyback.

Buyback through the Campus Stores happens at the end of fall and spring semesters.  It starts during the last week of classes before finals week and continues through end of day on the last day of finals.  Check for dates and hours on the website for each store's hours as they vary on each campus.  STUDENT ID REQUIRED.

Buyback also means RENTAL returns!  All of this is handled at the same time, at the same place.  Our systems will tell us if the book is a rental to be returned or a book to purchase if there is any value.  STUDENT ID REQUIRED.

The earlier your student is able to return books the better, and the better price.  Check this site to enter the ISBN of the book and know if there is any value at that time.  Know that the price listed will change if you wait a day, or if by chance, quotas are met before your student gets to the store to sell back the book.

Buyback is a supply and demand operation.  We buy books for ourselves as well as a wholesaler.  The wholesaler sets the price and the amount of the books that we purchase for them.  The books that we buy back for our store are determined by the orders that we have from instructors for the following semester.  If we have an order for 50 copies of a book for a class, we will purchase our 50, at up to half the price of a new book.  After we have filled our quota, we will purchase for our wholesaler at the price they have set.  On occasion, we will fill the quota for our store and for the wholesaler.  We will no longer offer anything for these books.  That does not mean that they do not have value, it means we cannot offer anything for them at that time.  Bottom line, the longer you wait, the less you will get.  Bring your books in as soon as you are finished with them, even if this means more than one trip. 

What happens if you, for some reason could not make it in to one of the buyback days?  You can sell your books online. Check out    This will give you prices year round.  This in an online site, and books are shipped to the distributor, and payment handled through them.  Rentals will not be accepted for return through this, it is for selling only.

There is a charge from the bookstore on my students account. What is this/it's a rental book, can I return it now?

Rental books are just that, rented.  Just like with DVD's or any other item that is available for rent, if it is not returned in time, you will be charged a fee.  You now own this book and can no longer return it as a rental.  As the charges appear on the students account approximately four weeks after the end of the term, we have sent back our shipment of returned books.  We are under contract to send them back by a certain date, and can no longer accept books after our shipment leaves. 

Your student received at least two reminder emails regarding the return of rental books.  This email lists the book and the fee charged if not returned. 

REMINDER to your student: They MUST return their own rental books.  They cannot return for someone else, or have someone else return for them.

If this book is being used in an upcoming term, we will buy it back at our next buyback.  We, the Campus Stores, have buyback at the end of fall and spring semester.  Other buybacks are handled by independent companies. 

The book can be sold online.  Check out this site for the wholesale price offered at the time of inquiry.

My student is graduating, what do they need to do?

We hold a Grad Fest in April for graduating students in the undergrad program.  At that time, they can pick up their cap, gown and tassel, look at class rings, diploma frames, have a photo taken in a cap and gown, find out about the class gift, and other things.  To pick up their cap and gown, they must have fulfilled all the requirements for graduation.  A list of students who are eligible for graduation is provided to us by the Registrar's Office.  This list is updated regularly.  If your student is not on the list, we have a sheet with information as a kind of checklist to go through to confirm they are able to walk at graduation.  They must wait for our information to be updated before they can get their cap and gown. Your student's ID is required to pick up items.   

Grad Fest is not the only time to pick up cap and gown.  They can do this through 4pm on the last day of finals, which is the day before graduation. 

Masters and PhD candidates can pick up their graduation garb starting approximately two weeks before graduation.  Please make sure you have turned in your information to your program coordinator so that we will have a packet ready for you.  Your garb will be available at the campus you specified.  You must be on the list provided to us to pick up your cap and gown.  If not, you will need to talk with your program coordinator.  ID is required to pick up garb.