All schools should be required to have all textbooks (or other materials) required by a class in stock by the first day of that class’s term. Schools that require students to purchase textbooks which are not in stock on time should be required to financially compensate those students by giving them a significant discount on those textbooks. Such discounts should be related to how long after the start of the term the textbooks become available for purchase by the students. Perhaps an automatic 50% discount could be implemented on the first day of the term for a textbook or other required material that is not available for purchase. Such discounts could increase by 1-10% of the products purchase price for each additional day of delay. In addition, schools should entitle students to free photocopies of any reading materials required from books or other materials not yet in stock. A minimum buffer of two weeks of scheduled future reading materials should be provided to each student, regardless of how soon the required texts will arrive in the school’s bookstore after the term begins.
Schools could avoid absorbing such penalties if they agree to revert to using the previous term’s textbooks for the class and make such a decision at least two weeks prior to the start of the term. If the decision to use the previous term’s textbooks is made with less than two weeks to go until the start of the term, students should be entitled to purchase these textbooks at only half their planned sale price.
Students should never be required to go to different bookstores or other locations off campus to get books or other required materials unless they are compensated with at least a 50% discount. Schools should make available all required materials on campus.