ECU First Day

ECU First Day is a program that lowers the cost of course materials and ensures undergraduate students have their required course materials on the first day of class.

Offered by Barnes & Noble College (BNC) and operated on campus by ECU Dowdy Student Stores, ECU First Day gives access to materials without the need to shop around. Included in this concierge service are textbook rentals and digital course materials, depending on the class. Students can buy their rented textbooks at a reduced price at the end of the semester if they wish. The program does not run in the summer sessions.

Enrollment in the program is automatic, and the cost is $20 per credit hour per term. This is added to the student account based on the student’s course schedule. Students have a window of time to opt out and make other decisions about their enrollment in the program. For Fall 2024 semester, the selection window is July 15 – August 27 and students must respond during this time.

How it Works

Upon registering for courses, you will be automatically enrolled in the ECU First Day program, and Dowdy Student Stores will begin preparing your materials. A $20 per credit hour charge will be added to your student account, potentially saving you up to 35–50% on the cost of course materials.

Please note: If your semester involves an internship or classes with no book, or your course materials are free, you will want to review the cost-savings information and may choose to opt out.

About 30 days before the first day of classes, you will receive an email about your course materials. You must take action within the selection period. The selection period for Fall 2024 semester is July 15 – August 27.

The email contains a link to verify your order and select how you would like to receive your course materials. You have the option to pick up your materials on campus or have books shipped to your home. Access codes for digital materials will be active during the semester.

Your full course schedule is included in the program. Although the program benefits most students, you may wish to compare the cost of course materials required for your classes before deciding to participate. Check the FAQ webpage for details about covered materials. You can choose to opt out during the selection period.

You will also be able to verify your order through this website during the selection period of July 15 – August 27 and through QR code available at the bookstore.

If you participate in the program, an email notification will be sent when your order is ready for pickup at Dowdy Student Stores in the Main Campus Student Center or when it ships. Your digital materials will be delivered for your course(s) within Canvas.


  • Opt-out deadline for fall 2024: August 27, 2024
  • Return deadline for rented textbooks in fall 2024: Dec. 11, 2024*

*Access codes will be deactivated after final exams, at publisher’s discretion.

Information for Faculty and Advisors

If you are a faculty member or advisor looking for more information about ECU First Day materials, please contact ECU Dowdy Student Stores or see the FAQ for Faculty webpage.

Technical Support

If you have trouble accessing course materials in Canvas or you have a technical question, see below options for assistance.