Our Story

Nonprofit & Independent Since 1896



We exist to support students

Founded in 1896, The Co-op sought to serve and meet the need for UT Austin students. Staying true to the original idea and vision set by future UT President, Dr. William J. Battle, our mission is to positively impact every student at The University of Texas at Austin with opportunities and services to foster student’s growth and help Longhorns change the world.

What you spend and donate here is reinvested into enhancing and impacting the University community and the student experience.


While many college bookstores are operated by for-profit corporations, The University Co-op is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit and operated by a board of directors comprised of students, faculty, and staff at The University of Texas at Austin. As students’ needs have changed, we’ve grown and adapted to meet that need. Over the last 125 years, we’ve offered services like photo processing and offered small appliances and records in store.


Today we believe in equitable and affordable access to course materials and advantageous opportunities for students to grow and develop their skills outside the classroom to set them apart from candidates in their future careers.

How We Support



Supporting and Expanding College-to-Career Initiatives

Each year, we support the Longhorn Center of Academic Equity's College-to-Career internship program by offering first-generation students two-year paid internships which help them get hands-on experience in their fields.

In 2020, we had 19 students in the program with more students joining the program in 2021.

Learn more about the Co-op Internship program or sign up for one of the upcoming info sessions by visiting the LCAE website.


Identifying and Introducing New Initiatives to Reduce the Cost of Course Materials and Expand Access for Students

Over the last few years, we have worked with The University and course materials publishers to offer a course material inclusive access program called Longhorn Textbook Access. This program increases buying power to offer course materials at an even lower cost.

The 11-course Longhorn Textbook Access pilot program begins Spring 2021, with plans to roll out University-wide for the Fall 2021 semester.

Through our strategic relationships with vendors, we also work directly with publishers to expand the offering of titles available as low-cost digital options.


Providing the Opportunity for Experiential Learning Outside of the Classroom

We dedicate resources and partner with classes and departments on campus in marketing, management, textiles and apparel, and more to offer hands-on projects to gain real-world experience in the operations of a business.

Student projects like these influence the decisions we make as a business so students can see the real impact of their contributions.


Curating the Official Booklist

As the bookstore for the University, we help curate the official booklist for each semester to ensure compliance with the federal law, HEOA & HB33.

We also educate incoming freshman about how to shop for course materials within any budget and find the lowest cost materials available.

Books are sold at the lowest cost possible. No profit is made off textbooks. Operational costs are covered by the retail business.


Offer Student Employment and Development Opportunities

We hire students and offer flexible shifts to fit their course schedule.

Student employees have access to mentors in their fields of interest and staff development opportunities.




The University Co-operative Society is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation, Federal Tax ID #74-096-0070, and your contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Consult your tax professional for further advice on how this gift may impact your personal tax situation.

How to Get Involved

Internships

Each year, we support the Longhorn Center of Academic Equity's College-to-Career internship program by offering students two-year paid internships which help them get hands-on experience in their fields. Internships are offered in all departments including Textbooks, Finance, Buying, Operations, Marketing, IT, and more.

Applications for the program open at the beginning of each fall semester and interested candidates are welcome to attend info sessions during the fall semester and can apply before December. Watch our employment openings and social media for the internship application.


Co-op Board of Directors

Every year during the annual campus-wide election, two UT students are elected to serve as representatives of the UT student body on the University Co-op Board of Directors. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that you do not want to miss out on.

The positions are open to full time students at UT Austin, who have completed a minimum of twenty four (24) hours credit in residence and have at least a 3.2000 grade point average. Graduate students who have completed twelve (12) hours credit in residence are eligible to apply. Candidates must be able to serve for two years while maintaining full time student status.

These positions share equal responsibility and voting rights with the entire board consisting of two additional students, four faculty members, two independent members and a chair.

The Co-op is a Tradition

Since 1896, nearly every Longhorn has passed through our doors. From graduation to game days and t-shirts to textbooks, we’ve been an integral part of the Longhorn experience and tradition, touching every important moment in the Longhorn life.

Whether you were “Born a Horn” or you’re getting your first Longhorn tee after that acceptance letter arrives in your mailbox, your Longhorn life starts at The Co-op and we’re here for every bit of your Longhorn experience from that point on: when you come to shop for your course materials, when you’re looking for a job that works with your class schedule, when you need support for your class project, when you’re ready to get your graduation cap and gown after 4 years on the 40 Acres, when you make the annual pilgrimage back to campus for game days, when you get your newborn their first Longhorn onesie, when your child gets their acceptance letter and it’s time to celebrate, and when you stop in after dropping them off at their dorm during Mooov-in weekend.

We’ve been part of the Longhorn tradition for over 125 years and we’re proud to be part of this Longhorn community. Thank you for helping us enhance and impact the University community and the student experience for the last 125 years and the next. Hook ‘em!

1883

University of Texas founded

1885

University of Texas Alumni Association - Texas Exes founded

1896

University Co-op founded and from the very beginning, gave rebates to students.

1896

William J. Battle named President elect, acting President of the University of Texas at Austin in 1914.

1903

Harry Y. Benedict named President; names tenth president of The University of Texas at Austin in 1927.

The University of Texas' spirit song, "The Eyes of Texas are Upon You" is created.

1906

The University Co-op is incorporated.

1911

John W. Calhoun named Co-op President.

The University Co-op contributes $10,000 to complete the construction to the Gregory Gym.

1912

The University Co-op introduces purchase reciepts.

1917

The University Co-op's first location is built on "The Drag".

1924

The University Co-op pledges $1,000 to help build the UT Football Stadium.

1924

Texas Memorial Stadium, later named Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium, opens.

1930

Gregory Gym Opens.

1936

C.E. Rowe named The Co-op President.

1937

The Tower is completed.

1941

L. Theodore Bellmont named Co-op President; previously UT Athletic Director and professor, namesake of Bellmont Hall.

1946

E.S. Redford named Co-op President.

1947

The Univeristy Co-op expands and adds a radio and record shop.

1949

Baseball National Championship ⚾

1950

Baseball National Champs ⚾

1955

Big Bertha comes to the University of Texas.

The "Hook'em Horns" hand singal is introduced.

1959

The University Co-op expands.

1959

Football National Champs 🏈

1964

ROBBERY! - Overnight on Thanksgiving, The Overton gang, led by a former UT football player, robs the Co-op vault for over $20,000 in ticket sale money from the Texas vs A&M game.

1969-1975

Football National Champs 🏈
Football National Champs 🏈
Men's Golf National Champs 🏌
Men's Golf National Champs 🏌
Baseball National Champs ⚾

1977

Gerald L. Matthews named Co-op President

1981-85

Men's Swimming and Diving 🌊
Women's Swimming and Diving 🌊
Volleyball National Champs 🏐
Women's Outdoor Track and Field 👟
Women's Swimming and Diving 🌊
Baseball National Champs ⚾
Women's Swimming and Diving 🌊
Women's Swimming and Diving 🌊

1986

Women's Basketball National Champs 🏀
Women's Cross Country Champs 👟
Women's Outdoor Track and Field 👟
Women's Swimming and Diving 🌊
Women's Indoor Track and Field 👟
Women's Swimming and Diving 🌊

1987

George Mitchell named Co-op President and CEO

1988-95

Men's Swimming and Diving 🌊
Women's Indoor Track and Field 👟
Women's Swimming and Diving 🌊
Volleyball National Champs 🏐
Men's Swimming and Diving 🌊
Men's Swimming and Diving 🌊
Women's Indoor Track and Field 👟
Women's Swimming and Diving 🌊
Men's Swimming and Diving 🌊
Women's Swimming and Diving 🌊
Women's Tennis National Champs 🎾
Women's Tennis National Champs 🎾

1995

The University Co-op launches their website

1996

Men's Swimming and Diving 🌊

1997

Robert W. Hamilton Book Awards established.

1998

The University Co-op expands.

1998

Women's Indoor Track and Field 👟
Women's Outdoor Track and Field 👟

1999

George H. Mitchell Awards for Academic Excellence established.

1999-2005

Women's Indoor Track and Field 👟
Women's Outdoor Track and Field 👟
Men's Swimming and Diving 🌊
Baseball National Champs ⚾
Men's Swimming and Diving 🌊
Football National Champs 🏈
Baseball National Champs ⚾
Women's Outdoor Track and Field 👟

2005

The University Co-op opens at it's current location

2006

Women's Indoor Track and Field 👟

2006

The University Co-op donates $1,000,000 to the President's initiative for undergraduate curriculum reform.

The Co-op parking garage opens.

2008

Michael H. Granof Awards for Excellence is Graduate Education established.

The University Co-op donates $450,000 to the renovation of the School of Social Work's Utopia Theatre.

The University Co-op donates $300,00 for the creation of the Co-op Fine Arts Student Center.

2008-15

Women's Beach Volleyball National Champs 🏐
Men's Swimming and Diving 🌊
Men's Golf National Champs 🏌
Volleyball National Champs 🏐
Men's Swimming and Diving 🌊

2011-16

The University Co-op named one of Austin American Statesman's "Best Places to Work".

The University Co-op "Harlem Shake" video hits 10M views on Youtube.

Cheryl Phifer named the Co-op President and CEO.

Financial Statements

2018 | 2019 | 2020