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Timely Textbook Orders

List course materials in CAESAR by the first day of registration

For students, having information about required course materials helps them understand the costs of a given course, gives them time to comparison shop for texts, and helps them be prepared for your courses on the first day of class. In order to provide this information to students, course material must be listed in CAESAR by the first day of registration. Doing so is required by law under the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act (read the full law here).
  • List all editions of a textbook that are acceptable. Permitting the use of different editions may reduce costs for students.
  • If a course requires materials other than textbooks (such as access codes, software, supplies, etc.) include this information in the course description.
  • Consider ways to defray or reduce those costs wherever possible. If such items are available on loan by the department, include this in the description.
  • Rather than ask students to purchase a book of which they will only read a fraction, take advantage of fair use policies by scanning the necessary text and posting it on Canvas.
  • If all materials will be provided at no charge on Canvas, this should be stated in CAESAR.

You Can Make a Difference! Program and contest

In an effort to increase awareness of course registration deadline requirements among departments, AIR hosts a quarterly event for program assistants at Northwestern to connect with colleagues from other departments, learn about upcoming changes with the bookstore, and ways they can help reduce course costs. Following the event, program assistants are invited to take part in a contest to gather information from instructors and enter it into CAESAR before registration opens the following quarter.


Upcoming programs:

There are no programs scheduled at this time.

Past contest winners:

  • Jenna Braunstein, Medill, Spring 2020
  • Natalie Zochowski, Kapnick Business Institutions Program, Weinberg, Winter 2020

Runners up (Spring 2020):

  • Abby Rosensweig, Chemistry
  • Alison Witt-Janssen, Classics
  • Kathy Leoni, Cook Family Writing Program
  • Yassaman Shemirani, Physics

You Can Make a Difference! is sponsored by AIR, the Office of the Registrar, Office of the Provost, and the Libraries. Questions about course registration deadlines? Contact us at


Visit our FAQ page for answers to common questions related to timely textbook orders, and contact for individualized assistance.