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Released March 14, 2005

Southern Miss Textbook Center aims
to fatten students' wallets

Hattiesburg- As a student and a mother of two, Kema Jones says she's always looking for ways to save cash. Fortunately for her, so is the head of the Southern Miss Textbook Center, who has found a way to help students pocket more money from their book returns.

Thanks to the willingness of faculty and staff to place book orders for the fall semester before their scheduled deadlines, students were reimbursed nearly 50 percent of the original cost of their books in December, said Kay Bush, manager of the Southern Miss Textbook Center.

Bush said because the book orders were submitted so early, the center was able to find better deals on new and used books. "By finals week, we had received 85 percent of the book requests," said Bush, "allowing us to pay students $658,000 in buybacks."

Graduate student Maigan Wipfl, who admitted she rarely saw a profit in previous years, was pleased to learn about the center's mission to issue out more money for returned books. "It's nice to see that they are trying," Wipfl said.

Freshman Hallie Farris was unaware of the center's efforts but still reaped some of the benefits. "I got about $300 back for three of my books," Farris said. "As a college student, you don't have any money, so when you go and return your books and get that money back, it's really a nice feeling."

Bush said that because of cooperation from faculty and staff, the textbook center was able to provide more used books than ever before, saving students more than $315,000 this semester.

Hoping to make a bigger impact next year, Bush wants to have book order for the fall semester in by March 15.

"The earlier the book requests are in, the better prices will be for the students," said Bush. For more information on how to help reduce the price of textbooks, please contact Bush at (601) 266-5107 or stop by the bookstore.

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April 13, 2005 3:55 PM