OnCourse at BU

Books in the library stacked up

What is OnCourse?

Bellarmine’s OnCourse initiative, offered in partnership with Follett ACCESS, ensures that all students have the materials they need on the first day of class. Faculty members thoughtfully select the materials students will need for each course. The cost is included in tuition for one flat rate and is eligible to be covered by financial aid.



Student Success

  • Studies show that student success increases when students have the correct learning materials at the start of class.
  • Peer institutions report one in five students, or 28%, skipped or deferred class due to costs associated with course materials. With OnCourse, 100% of students have all their materials from day one.
  • As a result, the number of students withdrawing from courses decreased one year after implementation of the program.
  • Institutions participating in Follett’s program have reported increased GPAs for traditional and non-traditional students.


  • This initiative allows the vendor to buy in bulk and consequently, students save money.
  • In similar programs, student textbook costs dropped an average of 35%.
  • Students will now be able to use financial aid to pay for direct cost of books and course materials as part of their tuition beginning Fall 2021.


  • Students no longer have to worry about shopping for the best deals or if their materials will arrive on time. This program automatically provides both digital and physical materials to students, depending on the instructor's choice.
  • Access to digital copies are provided through Moodle. Many e-copies feature convenient functionality, such as the ability to cut and paste or highlight text, download specific sections or even have the text read aloud. If a professor chooses to use a physical textbook, students pick up the book at the bookstore.

Fall 2021

Follett will email all students a list of electronic book titles Aug. 1. Electronic book titles are accessible via the Follett email and through Redshelf. Click here for a OnCourse FAQ sheet that should address any questions you may have.

Pick-up of physical books copies will begin August 13-15 for first-year students and August 16-20 for all returning students. Please visit our OnCourse Pick-Up page to select your book pick-up time. All pick-ups will occur in Hilary’s, located in Centro Hall. Students who are enrolled in a program that is 100 percent online will receive physical textbooks by mail to the primary address on file with the Registrar.

If you have questions related to accessing your books, please email: bookstore@bellarmine.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I purchase and receive my materials through OnCourse? Is it optional?

You do not need to do anything. Your books and other educational materials, as selected by your professor, will be available on or before the first day of classes beginning in Fall 2021. Digital materials will be accessible through an online portal, while printed materials and other physical assets can be easily picked up at the Campus Store.

Consistent with our Strategic Plan, we are implementing the OnCourse Initiative, as we firmly believe it advances achievement, affordability and access for our students. The initiative ensures that all students have the materials they need on the first day of classes at a reduced cost, and it allows students the choice to use financial aid to pay upfront for the direct cost of books and course materials. For these reasons, it will be applied to every student’s tuition. 

Do I need special software to use my digital materials?

The books are accessible on laptops, desktops, mobile devices and tablets as a PDF or ePub, a standard digital format in the publishing industry.

What if I don't have a device to access these materials?

Bellarmine has computer labs available for shared access throughout campus.

Can I choose if I want my course materials to be printed or digital?

Because OnCourse automatically gives you the most affordable option for each item, students will not have the option to pick the format of their course materials at this time. Overall, roughly half of the materials provided through OnCourse will be printed.

What if I add or drop a course?

If you drop a course, return printed materials to the Campus Store. If you add a new course after you have already picked up your materials for the semester, contact the Campus Store to arrange pick up of additional course materials.

What do I do after finals?

All rented books must be returned to the Campus Store when the term ends.

Am I renting these materials, or will I own them at the conclusion of the semester?

Most course materials will be rented, depending on the course material required by your professor. Once your order has been fulfilled by the Campus Store, you will receive an email with your order details. Your order details will let you know if any of your course materials are rented. Please return any rented materials at the conclusion of the rental period to the Campus Store by the date indicated in your email.

What if I want to buy my books instead of returning them at the end of the semester?

After the term is complete, rented textbooks must be returned to the Campus Store. However, you can choose to keep the book by paying an additional fee at the Campus Store checkout.

Can I share these materials with others?

All OnCourse materials included in this initiative are protected under copyright law. Your OnCourse access gives you a single license to use the materials, unless otherwise stated by the publisher.

Are online learning platforms and e-codes included?

If required by your instructor, any access codes or online learning platforms will be included.

I pay my tuition on a payment plan. How does OnCourse affect this?

Bellarmine offers a monthly payment plan for student tuition account balances, and OnCourse – as part of tuition – can be included in those payment plans. University payment plans are semester-based and must be renewed before each semester. Students must self-enroll online in order to officially enroll in the plan. The number of monthly installments available is determined by when a student officially enrolls, and students can enroll in a payment plan directly from their OneBellarmine account. For additional questions about the payment plan, please contact the Office of Student Accounts at 502-272-8264 or studentaccounts@bellarmine.edu.

Who do I contact with questions?

  • If current students have any questions about their financial aid package—or if they are experiencing unforeseen financial hardships caused by COVID-19—they should contact the Office of Financial Aid at 502-272-7300 or finaid@bellarmine.edu.
  • Students who want to ensure that OnCourse complies with specific accommodations they require should contact the Office of Accessibility Resource Center at 502-272-8490.
  • Incoming undergraduate students and families should email admissions@bellarmine.edu or call 502-272-8000.
  • Incoming graduate or second-degree students should email gradadmissions@bellarmine.edu or call 502-272-7200.