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Why are adoptions important?

The submission of adoptions to the UNM Bookstore is required for each course taught at the University of New Mexico by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA).  The intention of this Congressional legislation is to provide transparency to students, prospective students, and the general public as it pertains to the total cost of attendance (COA) at any institution (which includes UNM) receiving public funds.

The role of the UNM Bookstore

The Course Materials Department here at your UNM Bookstores is here to support the academic mission of the University by providing the materials instructors need to teach their classes effectively. We strive to sell those materials at the lowest prices we can to help our students’ textbook dollars go farther.

Each week, the Course Materials department sends out emails to all instructors in upcoming terms for which we have not yet received information. Each email contains a direct, personalized link to those instructors having courses/sections in need of information. Course information is taken directly from a file maintained by UNM Scheduling and is updated before each new email goes out. Instructors will be sent emails so long as there are courses containing no information.

The UNM Bookstore utilizes Verba Software technology to send the aforementioned emails and gather the information.  UNM IT has placed all emails from on an Allowlist to all UNM email addresses but please be sure to check your Spam or Junk folder.  It is also important to note that Verba Software is merely a tool to collect this information.  Instructors may also email anytime to submit this information. Be sure to include each department, course, and section along with as much information about the materials needed as possible (ISBN, author, title, etc).

The UNM Bookstore’s website where these materials are listed is the University of New Mexico’s HEOA-approved website for listing all course materials and textbooks.


*NOTE* All 599 and 699 level courses as well as independent study, pedagogy, colloquium, dissertation, thesis, and internship courses are automatically listed by the UNM Bookstore as “No Course Materials Required.” If you use a textbook or other materials in one or more of these sections, please email and we will ensure those materials are listed.


Instructor/Faculty’s role:

The HEOA requirement means that each instructor teaching a course must notify the bookstore regarding each of their courses, each term.  The UNM Bookstore can not assume re-adoptions from term to term.  Instructors should be sure to note the following:

  • No Course Materials Required: Even if no materials are used in a course, instructors must still notify the Bookstore.  This is done by submitting courses in Verba without entering materials.
  • Instructors Providing Free Materials: Instructors that distribute or post handouts, articles, or similar materials on Canvas should be sure to submit the course as “No Materials Required” but note the distribution of said free materials in the Notes to the Bookstore field in Verba.
  • Placing Adoptions/Orders Early: Early adoptions are critical in helping everyone save money! First, the UNM Bookstores must return all unsold product from the current term (usually done during week 7) to make room for the next term’s incoming product. Letting us know if materials are being re-used helps the University save money by retaining them in the Bookstore.  We also have the ability to offer students currently holding copies of those books that we can buy directly from them.
  • Legal Requirements: The aforementioned HEOA requires all UNM courses to have all required and optional materials posted on the UNM Bookstore’s website.
  • Does the Bookstore “Roll Over” adoptions from one term to another?  No, we do not. Instructors or departments must submit information each term, even if the same materials are used each term.
  • Other instructors use this book, the Bookstore will already have them, right?   This is a common misconception. For example; if 12 sections of a given course use copies of the same title but only 5 sections report this to the Bookstore – we will ONLY order enough books to cover the enrollment for 5 sections – not 12!
  • My students can just go online anywhere and get their books so I don’t need to submit adoption information, right?  This is an incorrect perception.  In addition to the HEOA requirements; many UNM students either prefer or, in some cases, MUST obtain their materials from the UNM Bookstore.  Consider the following:
    • Students on book scholarship, or where a 3rd Party entity (Chapter 31 military veterans, employers or schools) pays for their materials, are unable to obtain their materials outside of the UNM Bookstore as these entities only establish accounts directly with UNM Bookstore.  Materials are charged to these accounts rather than the students.
    • Students can only use their UNM Bursar accounts to purchase materials through the UNM Bookstore.  The Bursar account enable a student to pay their materials over time rather than incur credit card debts that have 20+% interest rates!
    • The failure to make the materials available through the Bookstore means that these students must either pay for the materials out of their own pockets or wait while the Bookstore places orders, causing students to fall behind in their studies!
    • Lastly, why close off an option for our students? Particularly when the Bookstore provides local, personalized services.  We also offer a comparison shopping tool right on our website called Dare to Compare.

I encourage you to contact me via email below if you have further questions or, if you have special requirements for those books in your course, please feel free to reach out to me.


Jonathan Benavides
Manager, Course Materials
UNM Bookstore, Central, Taos, & North Campuses