With the fall semester quickly approaching, it is about time for students to begin looking for textbooks. This semester, however, the task of acquiring textbooks and other course materials will be different- and more convenient.

Messiah University recently teamed up with a new textbook service called Slingshot. Slingshot is a service that automatically delivers students’ course materials for registered classes before the first day of class. 

The textbooks can be delivered directly to the student’s campus residence, picked up in the campus store or shipped to the student’s preferred address. The balance of the course materials automatically posts to the student’s CashNet account and after the conclusion of classes, students can return any rental materials to the campus store or through a pre-paid postage label.

Within a few days of Messiah announcing this new collaboration with Slingshot, students were already skeptical and concerned about the program. Questions relating to the affordability of the course materials being given and the overall reliability of Slingshot have been arising. 

Aleisha Wildon, the Campus Store Manager, offers background information and reassurance about the new service. Messiah’s Campus Store originally decided to look into another textbook service due to previous student dissatisfaction with the old provider.

“Messiah was unhappy with the service,” Wildon said, “and felt like they weren’t servicing the students well when it comes to distributing textbooks.”

Wildon was one of the people who first came across Slingshot. The company first started as a local bookstore and coffee shop and grew to serve Christian universities and other schools. 

Student success is important to the company. They believe that every student should have every book by the first day of class at an affordable price, which was a huge selling point for Messiah.

“Students’ success and retention are tied to course materials,” Wildon said. “So we are working with students to use this service so they have easy access to materials as well as having the opportunity to use their financial aid.”

Slingshot sells course materials that are 50% off the original listing price. This is because the service is buying the course materials from the same sources students are shopping from (i.e. Amazon, etc.). By calculating when the market prices are at the lowest, Slingshot can purchase them and have them ready when the students need them.

Wildon hopes that students will give Slingshot a chance and take advantage of this service this upcoming semester.

If students have questions about Slingshot, feel free to email Wildon at awildon@messiah.edu.