The Bookstore Now Accepting Flex Dollars


Kwadar Ray

The bookstore–located in the Kessel Student Center–is now accepting flex dollars after students pushed for the move.

Kwadar Ray , Managing Editor

The Pace bookstore is accepting students’ flex dollars this year for purchases of any materials the store offers. Flex dollars were initially implemented to purchase food on and off-campus, but Auxiliary services says the move is part of an initiative to allow flex dollars to be useful at multiple places.

According to Mary Lieto, the Executive Director of Auxiliary Services, the decision was made over the summer at students’ requests. The bookstore made the proposal to Auxiliary Services, who approved the idea after discovering implementing it would be “fairly easy.”

“We decided since flex is a portion of funds that’s basically students discretion to use when they want, using it for the bookstore is a good idea,” Lieto said.

The new rule has been around all semester, but the bookstore did not promote it until this past Friday with an Instagram post.

Students’ flex dollars on their Pace One card ranges from $100 to $500 depending on the meal plan. Students also have the option to add voluntary funds to their card anytime they please.

“More and more students are adding more voluntary money, which we include as flex money, so we thought since we’ve allowed flex to be used off campus at merchants– and we’re expanding those merchants– why not have it at the bookstore as well so students can buy books and other material,” Lieto said.

Although the bookstore offers a variety of materials from snacks to Pace attire, books are self-evidently significant.

Jessika Pietryka, a senior Information Systems major, said she pays nearly $100 per book for her four business courses. She believes the prices of books are generally too expense and she is holding off to see how helpful the new rule is.

“It’s a great idea, but I feel like we don’t get enough flex money for it to be substantial,” she said. [Students can add more flex] but at that point it’s the same as putting books on your card.”

Senior English and Communications student Jessica D’Angelo believes the initiative could be helpful.

“I think [it will benefit students] because sometimes I only carry my [Pace One card] around, and not my debit/credit card, sot it would be really helpful,” she said.

The benefit of purchasing items without the use of cash or a credit card is one of the reasons behind the decision, according to Lieto.

“Students wanted to use their card in the bookstore,” Lieto said. “And this makes it easier for them to purchase without carrying cash or using a credit card… this way they don’t have to use a credit card, which adds on interest. It also helps the parents to budget.”

The bookstore’s acceptance of flex money is one of Auxiliary Services initiatives this school year to cut down textbook prices.

“We’re working with the bookstore and there’s a textbook affordability committee that I’ve been working with over the years and looking for a way to decrease our costs of textbooks on campus,” Lieto said. “So we’re exploring ways in which we can offer programs that will allows us to make agreements with publishers to bring the prices down. And if we can get some of the core courses to use textbooks semester into semester and year into year, and not include new books, then we can work with the publisher to ensure that they can then give us a better price on those books. So we’ve been looking at some ideas and trying to bring the textbook prices down because we realize that they can be very high and some students can’t even afford to purchase them.”

The bookstore also offers price-match guarantees if students find their books at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles or local competitors.

“We’re trying to work to keep students purchasing on campus because then it goes towards their scholarships and helps keep the costs down on campus,” Lieto said.