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Q.  How do I know what textbooks/course materials I will need for my classes?

Visit >Textbooks>Select Term, then using your class schedule, Select Department>Select Courses and Section>Add Selection.  Scroll down the page to Your Current Course List and click Get Course Materials button.  This will provide you a list of the textbooks you will need for your classes.


Q.  How do I purchase my textbooks/course materials?

You can purchase your textbooks at MECC Bookstore or on-line at 


Q.  I want to use financial aid to pay for my textbooks/course materials.  How do I do that?

In-store – bring a copy of your schedule and student ID.  At checkout, inform the cashier you will be paying with financial aid and present your student ID. 


On-line – select Financial Aid as your payment tender and enter your student ID when prompted.


Q.  Can I use my financial aid at other textbook websites?

No.  Financial aid can only be used at MECC Bookstore, either in-store or on-line through MECC Bookstore’s e-commerce site.


Q.  Do I have to purchase my textbooks/course materials from MECC Bookstore?

No.  You can purchase your textbooks/course materials anywhere, however, you will not be able to use your financial aid.  Also, you can compare prices elsewhere through MECC Bookstore’s e-commerce site and purchase through a direct link from the site.


Q.   What do I need to purchase my textbooks/course materials?

You will need to bring a copy of your schedule and your student ID, regardless of payment type.   No other form of ID will be accepted, nor can we assist you with locating the materials for your class without your schedule.


Q.  I am unable to make it to campus to purchase my textbooks/course materials, can someone else pick up my books for me?

As long as you send a copy of your schedule and student ID, anyone you select can purchase your textbooks.  However, if using financial aid as the payment type, we will need a note from you giving MECC Bookstore permission to charge to your financial aid account that MUST include your signature.  Your designee will then sign their name to your account.



Purchasing On-line:


Q.  Can I purchase or rent my textbooks on-line?

                Yes.  You can purchase or rent (if available) your textbooks online at


Q.  Can I use financial aid to purchase my textbooks on-line?



Q.  Why do I still have to input credit card information if I’m using financial aid to purchase my textbooks on-line?

Input of a credit card provides backup payment in the event that financial aid funds are not available.  The backup payment method is used only when the order total is not completely covered by your Financial Aid Funds.


Q.  Can I pay for my textbooks on-line but pick them up at the store?

                No.  Orders placed on-line will automatically be processed as a shipment.


Q.  Can you ship to a P.O. Box?

                No.  UPS will not deliver to a P.O. Box address.


Q. Why is my total purchase amount different than my order confirmation total?

The cart total is calculated at the highest current price for titles. Used prices will be applied if selected and available when your order is filled.  Also, because MECC Bookstore does not charge a flat rate for shipping, the order confirmation does not include shipping charges that will be reflected once the order is processed.


Understanding Your Options:


Q.   Why are textbooks required for classes when we don’t even use them in class?

Instructors often will not use the textbook in class, but will assign readings outside of class to prepare you for class discussions.  Instructors who do not require a textbook for the class do not even have a textbook available for the class.  So if a textbook is required for the class, chances are you will be assigned readings from the book.


Q.  What are the options available for purchasing textbooks?

MECC Bookstore provides as many options as possible for purchasing textbooks.  These include new, used, rental (both new and used), and digital e-books. 


Q.  Why are textbooks so expensive while other books are not?

*Textbooks are not like other books that are sold to a broad audience.  Most textbooks are specialized and sold only to a relatively small number of people.  Also, textbooks require considerably more time and effort to develop.  To ensure accuracy, they must undergo rigorous academic review and fact-checking, and must be updated every few years to stay current.


*Source: National Association of College Bookstores

Q.  Doesn’t the bookstore make a lot of money from textbooks?

Actually the bookstore does not make much money on textbooks.  .75 cents on every dollar spent on textbooks actually goes to the publisher expenses, while the remaining .25 cents goes to bookstore operations.  Click on the image below to learn more about these expenses.  




Q.  What does MECC bookstore do with its share?

All monies, after expenses, are given back to Mountain Empire Community College to assist with the maintenance and upkeep of the campus.  These funds are also used for improvement projects around campus such as the steps from Holton Hall to Phillips Taylor.


Textbook Rentals:


Q.  How do I rent textbooks?

Textbooks can be rented either in-store or on-line.  For in-store rentals, the cashier will ask if you would like to rent any of your textbooks available for rental.  You will need to sign the rental agreement, (explained by the cashier), and secure the rental with your student ID and a credit card. On-line rentals work basically the same way, except instead of signing, you will click the option accepting the terms of the rental agreement.  


Q.  Can I rent textbooks using my financial aid?

Yes.  You can pay the rental fee with your financial aid, however, you will still need to secure the rental with a credit card.


Q.  Why does the bookstore need a credit card to secure my rental and is my card charged?

A credit card is needed to secure the rental in the event you do not return the rented textbook(s).  Unless you are paying the rental fee by credit card, your card will not be charged unless you do not return the rented textbook(s).  If you are using a credit card to pay the rental fee, your card will only be charged the amount of the rental fee.


Q.  What do I do with my rental textbook(s) if I drop the class?

If you return the rented textbook(s) during the add/drop period for the semester, you will receive a refund for your rental fee.  After the add/drop period, you will be returning the rental according to the rental agreement and no refund will be processed.  If you rented the textbook(s) after the add/drop period, you will have five business days to return the rental for a refund of the rental fee.  After five days you will be returning the rental with no refund.


Q.  What if I want to keep the textbook(s) I rented?

Should you decide to keep the textbook(s) you rented, you can pay the difference between the rental fee and the price of the book at the condition of rental (new or used).


Q.  Can I write or highlight in my rental textbook(s)?

You are allowed to write and highlight in your rental books, however, it cannot be excessive.  Anything over 15% is considered excessive and you will be charged the difference between the rental fee and the price of the book at the condition of rental (new or used).


Q.  What happens if I don’t return the rental textbook(s)?

If you fail to return your rented textbook(s), the credit card you used to secure the rental will be charged the difference of the rental fee and the price of a new textbook; in addition to a late fee of $10.00 per day, per book; up to a maximum of 3 days ($30.00/book).


Q.  What happens if my credit card has been cancelled or does not have enough funds to charge the non-returned rental fee?

Should this happen, this is considered a breach of the agreement (section 7) and your college account will be placed on hold until the monies are paid back to the college.   This hold will prevent your enrollment in classes, access to financial aid, prohibit official documents including transcripts and other services until these obligations have been paid in full. After thirty days your account will be turned over to the Virginia Department of Taxation Debt Set Off Program and also to a private collection agency for collection. The collection agency adds a service fee of 33% to the total amount due Mountain Empire Community College. Once accounts are turned over to the collection agency, the service fee cannot be waived.


Textbooks/Course Materials Returns:


Q.  Can I return my textbooks/course materials if I drop my classes?

Yes.  You can return textbooks during the add/drop period for any reason.  You will need to bring the receipt, your student ID, and if payment was by credit card, the original credit card charged.  For more details, please visit our return policy at


Q.  I used financial aid to purchase my textbooks/course materials but dropped classes.  Can I keep the textbooks?

It is advisable to return your textbooks for any classes you have dropped; especially if payment was by financial aid.  Anytime classes are added or dropped, your financial aid is affected and could result in you owing money in the bookstore.  Returning your textbook(s) would prevent you from owing money for them in the event your aid is diminished.


Q. I purchased my textbooks/course materials on-line.  Do I have to bring them to the bookstore to return them?

You can mail back any textbooks you purchased on-line, within the add/drop period, and all aspects of the return policy applies.  However, shipping to and from the store is not refundable and will be your responsibility.




Q.  Can I sell my textbooks back to the store at the end of the semester?

MECC Bookstore conducts two buybacks per year.  At the end of the fall and spring semesters.  These buybacks are conducted for three days only, with the dates advertised in advance of the buyback.  However, we do offer buyback at any time through our website at


Q.  Why don’t I get more money for the textbooks I sell back?

MECC Bookstore uses dynamic pricing to determine what we will pay for used textbooks at buyback.  This allows us to determine the fair market price for each textbook and we always pay a little more than the fair market price to our students who sell their textbooks back to us.


Q.  Why do I get more for some books than others?

The dynamic pricing model provides the fair market value based on demand so the fair market value may be less for some books than others due to less demand.  For more information on what affects the price we will pay for books, please see the next question.


Q.  What factors affect how much the bookstore will pay for my textbooks?

  • If the textbook is being used for the next term, and the bookstore is buying, you will receive more than if it’s not being used and the wholesaler is buying at a much smaller percentage of the market value.
  • If the bookstore has met its quota and is not buying anymore of the book, you may receive wholesale pricing.
  • The condition of the book.Damage or excessive marking can reduce what we will pay or even if we or the wholesaler will purchase the book.
If the book is going to a new edition, the price may be reduced or may disqualify the book from being purchased.
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