Textbook and Supplies Credit FAQ
If you are affected by the federal shutdown and need funds to buy textbooks and or school supplies, contact the Office of Financial Aid at 410.837.4763 or visit the website to explore options such as an emergency loan.
What is this credit?
UB campus and Shady Grove students may request “credit” each term to buy textbooks, school supplies, a computer, a backpack, or other educationally necessary items. While there is a credit maximum, students whose textbook costs exceed the limit, or those who wish to buy a computer, may request additional funds.
I understand the credit may be split for textbooks and other items I need to attend school. What do I need to know?
There are two options on the student portal between which the credit can be divided, and one option OR BOTH may be taken:
Option 1) Textbook Credit is for textbooks only: Funds to buy textbooks are allocated to MBS Direct, the online textbook provider. These funds are used online and remain available through the last day to add or drop a class. Remaining funds will be refunded to the student, and credit reopens for each compressed semester.
Option 2) Supplies Credit is for school supplies and items needed for school, except textbooks: Examples are pencils and pens, notebooks, Scantron forms, Bluebooks, backpacks, and computers. The funding set aside for this purpose may be spent at The Hive campus store, located on the first floor of the Student Center. (Barnes & Noble at UB no longer sells textbooks.) Unspent funds will be refunded.
How do I access the credit?
Textbook Credit for textbooks will appear online at the MBS Direct textbook site. Multiple purchases may be made until the funds are exhausted, or until the window to use the credit expires after the last day to add or drop a class.
Supplies Credit for supplies and computers, but not textbooks, may be used in a person with a student Bee Card at The Hive campus store located on the first floor of the Student Center in multiple transactions until the funds are exhausted, or the credit expires.
Note: Textbook Credit allocated to MBS Direct for textbooks and is only able to be spent online, and is not able to be spent at The Hive campus store. Supplies Credit allocated for supplies at The Hive may only be spent in person, and will not appear online in the MBS textbook purchase portal.
How much credit may I request?
Students may request up to $800 per term (not applicable for the Summer).
How do I qualify to request a credit?
Students who have financial aid and/or a third-party payment guarantee may request a credit. Eligibility is based on a student having a completed Financial Aid Award, meaning a completed FAFSA, Master Promissory Note, and Entrance Counseling Quiz (if loans are being utilized). Students pending verification or a professional judgment will not be able to apply for the credit until their review is completed.
Students utilizing third-party resources must ensure that the Office of the Bursar has a record of the award before being able to add this credit to their account. It is encouraged that students contact the office early in the credit planning process to ensure that they are able to add the credit so they can receive their books/supplies with as little delay as possible.
Where do I request Textbook and Supplies Credit? And what information do I need to have ready?
Eligible enrolled students may apply for Textbook and Supplies Credit through the student portal. To avoid over-borrowing, it is recommended that students only request a credit in the amount of what they intend to utilize for the current term. This means pricing out your books and supplies prior to applying for the credit to be sure that you are requesting the proper amount to be successful in the current term.
When will the credits be available to use?
The Textbook and Supplies Credits requested through the student portal will be available for use 24-48 hours after they are requested. Textbook Credit entered manually into the MBS Direct system by a financial aid administrator will be available in 24-48 hours as a "voucher" on the MBS site. Supplies Credit entered manually by The Hive manager will be available for use immediately in the Student Center campus store.
I am a veteran or use third-party resources. What is my process?
Note: Students using GI Chapter 31 (but not Chapter 33) and other third-party resources will need to visit the MBS Direct site twice-- initially to obtain a "quote" to file to obtain a "voucher", and at least 24-48 hours later to make the purchase once the "voucher" to pay for the books is active on the MBS Direct site. Also, GI Chapter 31 and those using other third-party resources may find it more efficient to purchase new or electronic materials, in case the used inventory is exhausted in the time between obtaining the "quote" and activation of the "voucher". Detailed, situation-specific instructions follow.
GI Chapter 33: Apply for Textbook and Supplies Credit by emailing email@example.com Within 24-48 hours the credit you will receive a confirmation email and be active at the MBS Direct site for you to purchase your materials. Keep in mind Textbook Credit can be used to pay for shipping.
GI Chapter 31: Option 1: Visit the MBS Direct website, locate your classes, select course materials and place them in your cart. It is suggested you choose new books or electronic resources, in case the used book inventory is exhausted at the time you return to make the purchase. Then select a shipping option, keeping in mind your aid will cover shipping costs to mail the materials directly to you. There is no option to save the cart, but you can take a screenshot to document the cost which is the "quote". Send the screenshot containing the "quote" to firstname.lastname@example.org; the administrator who monitors this address will manually enter the entire amount of your "quote", including shipping and tax, into the MBS system to create a credit "voucher". In 24-48 hours the credit will be available and you will be able to return to the site to purchase the materials using the credit "voucher". Option 2: Call the MBS Direct 24/7 resource/ customer service center at 1-800-325-3252. Provide the representative with your course numbers; the representative will place the materials in a cart. Indicate the shipping option you prefer, and then ask the representative to email you a screen shot of the shopping cart, AND to save the shopping cart for you (an option not available at the website). Forward the email with the screenshot to email@example.com; the administrator who monitors this address will manually enter the entire amount of your cart (the "quote"), including shipping and tax, into the MBS system to create a credit "voucher". In 24-48 hours the credit will be available; call the 24/7 MBS Direct customer service line again and ask the representative to convert your quote to a cart, and make the purchase using the voucher.
Other Third-Party Resources, including visually impaired: Same process as GI Chapter 31 above. If you need assistance, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
I need to assist someone. What do I need to do?
Perhaps you need to obtain a quote for course materials to use as documentation, or to locate the ISBN numbers of textbooks to purchase them in a different format. You can obtain a quote without entering the personally identifying information of the person to whom you are providing assistance, though you will need course names and sections. Either visit the website or call the 24/7 MBS Direct customer service line at 1-800-325-3252 to obtain a textbook quote on behalf of another person.
I need Supplies Credit and am a veteran or use third-party resources. What do I need to do?
GI Chapter 33: Apply for Supplies Credit at the UB portal according to the instructions. In 24-48 hours the credit will be active at The Hive campus store on the first floor of the Student Center for you to purchase your supplies in person, by showing your Bee Card. The credit will remain active until exhausted or until it expires.
GI Chapter 31 or other third-party resources: The financial aid office will email The Hive campus store manager a form containing the amount of Supplies Credit, and the manager will enter the amount of approved credit on the form into the system for immediate credit availability. The form contains no personally identifiable information. Visit The Hive campus store on the first floor of the Student Center to spend the credit using your Bee Card. You may contact The Hive manager via email for assistance, or stop by the store.
If you use third-party resources which use a different process, contact email@example.com for assistance.
What are the first and last dates to request credit?
Students will be eligible to apply for the bookstore credit as follows:
Can I request a credit for the summer?
Textbook Credit is only available for the Fall and Spring terms.
What are the last dates to use the credit?
Textbook Credit at MBS Direct may be used through the last day to add or drop a class. Supplies Credit at The Hive is available for approximately the first eight weeks of the semester. In the fall, The Hive supplies portion of the credit closes around Halloween, and in the spring credit is available until Spring Break.
Do I qualify for additional credit?
Students with financial aid and/or a third-party payment guarantee may request additional credit if their textbook tab exceeds the credit limit, or to purchase a computer. Students should email firstname.lastname@example.org to request additional credits or adjustments.
What happens to my remaining funds if I do not use all of my credits?
Remaining funds in the MBS portfolio will be added back to a student’s account by the end of the second week of classes in the same term. Funds remaining in a student’s account from The Hive supplies portion will be returned to a student’s account at the end of the term. If funds returned to a student’s account result in a credit balance, a refund check will be issued from the State of Maryland usually within 7-10 business days.
I am enrolled in a joint program for which it is not possible for my financial aid at UB to be used at the collaborating institution. How can I use my financial aid at UB to pay for my textbooks?
Any student whose financial aid forms are complete, and who has enough aid to pay for the cost of the textbooks may apply for an “emergency loan”; the process and application is outlined at http://www.ubalt.edu/admission/financial-aid/aid-basics/policies/emergency.cfm. Once the emergency loan is approved, the loan amount will be added to the student’s account, and a check will be issued to the student to use to purchase the books at the collaborating institution. Any questions regarding this process should be directed to Sofia Cascio, email@example.com .