VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota will offer undergraduate students an interest-free, $500 loan to help them buy books and supplies starting with the Fall 2015 semester.
“We know students have a lot of expenses at the beginning of each semester, and we don’t want anyone to delay buying their textbooks because of cash flow,” said Sheila Gestring, USD chief financial officer. “We are offering this as a pilot program to see if students find it helpful.
“Students will be able to charge up to $500 worth of books and class supplies at the USD Bookstore and pay for them over the rest of the semester on their USD bill,” she said.
The program is open to any full-time, undergraduate student who is taking at least one class face-to-face on the Vermillion campus. There is no requirement to prove financial need.
The $500 charge account will be available starting three weeks before classes begin and will continue for two weeks into the semester, said Angela Miller, manager of the Barnes & Noble bookstore in the Muenster University Center.
The bookstore will have a list of students who are eligible for the charge account, and students will visit the bookstore in person to take advantage of the program.
“At this time the $500 loan is not available on our website,” Miller said. “But that is something we may look at in the future. Students can use it on all textbooks in the store whether they rent or buy, new or used, hard copy or digital books.”
Gestring and Miller said they will evaluate the response to the pilot program to see if any changes will be needed in the future.