APU Student Handbook
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Last Revision: January 30, 2024

For Undergraduate Students

Book Grant

Required course materials and readings are provided through the APUS Book Grant at no cost to undergraduate students earning academic credit.

However, some software and/or lab equipment required for courses in our Electrical Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Natural Sciences, Health Sciences, and Information Technology programs are not provided through the undergraduate book grant and will need to be purchased by any student registering in those courses. Please visit the Course Materials Guide for more information prior to registration.

APUS has transitioned to the electronic medium and other technologies as they become available in the publishing and academic arenas. If a course uses electronic materials, they will be accessible via the classroom, the Trefry Library, on the Open Web or the VitalSource Bookshelf. Using online materials allows APUS to maintain the current registration costs for our students by eliminating shipping time and reducing material and delivery costs.

 At the discretion of the University, overseas and shipboard students may be provided a hard copy book as well as the ebook format because of limited internet access time. There are certain APUS courses that are using ebooks regardless of the student’s location that may not be ideal for all. Some of these courses use only online materials and no hard book is available. Some of the courses have both ebooks and hard books available. If an overseas student’s situation does not allow for the use of ebooks due to deployed location, lack of internet or computer time at the Education Center, the recommended path is for the student to purchase the hard book if available.

In the event the student’s mission requirements would be better suited receiving a hard copy, they must provide a statement from their unit First Sergeant or Commander and/or a copy of their deployment orders supporting the student’s situation. The documentation should be sent to [email protected] for review and approval.

When registering for courses, overseas students should review the course material listed in the Schedule of Classes and also during the registration flow. It may be best for them not to enroll in a course using ebooks until they return to CONUS.

Undergraduate Materials and Ordering

The APUS Undergraduate Book Grant provides course materials for undergraduate students earning academic credit. Further information can be found on the Course Materials Guide.

APUS provides ebooks and hard copy texts for APUS courses. Ebooks and online resources are provided via the classroom. Hard copy text or lab kit shipments may be placed by the Course Material Staff via sellers such as Amazon or directly from the vendors and sent to the shipping address on file.

However, some software and/or lab equipment required for courses in our Electrical Engineering, Natural Sciences, Health Sciences, and Information Technology programs are not provided through the undergraduate book grant and will need to be purchased by any student registering in those courses. Please visit the Course Materials Guide for more information prior to registration.

Course material orders are processed daily once the student's registration fees (TA, FSA, check, etc.) have been received and is also based on the student's shipping address location. Please make sure to keep your shipping address current.

If you wish to purchase the hard copy version of any ebook or resources, you may do so through any bookseller when that format is available.

APUS will send an order confirmation notice to the student's email address on file when tracking information is available for hard copy shipments.

Email Address and Shipping Addresses

It is VERY important that the student email address and shipping address are kept current at all times. The email address is the primary method of communication for your course material notifications. If your email address or shipping address changes after you register for classes and you have items that will be shipped to you, please email [email protected] to verify that we have the most current information on file.

Shipments to APO/FPO/DPO, International Addresses, and U.S. Embassies

Students with APO/FPO/DPO and international shipping addresses should register for courses and submit TA documents as early as possible before the course start date to ensure that their course materials are ordered beginning 35 days before the course start date. Shipments to APO/FPO/DPO addresses cannot be expedited beyond USPS Priority Mail status. We are not able to track USPS shipments.

Course materials for new students will not be ordered until their registration payment has been received by the APUS Finance Department.

Shipments to U.S. Embassies will arrive at the Dulles sorting center within the normal schedule, however, they will then be sent via diplomatic pouch and arrival times will vary.

Local customs and delivery fees are the responsibility of the student, unless approved for an exception to policy.


Any physical/hard copy course materials will be delivered to the shipping address on file. 

Please note: The online drop form must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Sunday of the course start week. The Course Drop/Withdraw form can be found in your ecampus under the Academic Plan & Forms menu, then under University Forms. If a student is unsuccessful in dropping the course electronically, the student must contact the Registrar at [email protected] or 877-755-2787, ext. 3600. During or after Week Two, there are financial and academic penalties associated with withdrawing from a course. These penalties are detailed in the Drop/Withdrawal Policy section of this handbook.

Course Material Reshipments

Students will be responsible for keeping their email and shipping addresses current. Any duplicate course materials shipments sent because of an incorrect, incomplete, or out of date student mailing address will be covered financially by the student including the total cost of the course materials and shipping. It is the student's responsibility to replace lost or stolen course materials, course materials left in storage, or course materials damaged after receipt. The student must contact [email protected] and advise us of their need to replace course materials. Instructions on how to replace the course materials will be provided. Replacement costs are not APUS's responsibility, but we will assist the student in obtaining replacement course materials.

International Shipments

Course materials shipments to international addresses are sent via USPS Global Express or UPS tracking number is provided in the shipment confirmation that is sent to the student's personal email address. Once the package leaves the U.S., the tracking information is not reliable.

Returning Course Materials

Shipped in Error

Students who wish to return course materials to due to an error in shipment should contact [email protected]. Any exchanges, substitutions, credits, or refunds will be coordinated by APUS. Depending on notification time, it may not be possible to provide replacement course materials before the course start date.

Students Dropping or Withdrawing from a Course

Undergraduate students who drop or withdraw from a course do not need to return their materials. If the student will be re-registering for the same course, they should hold onto the materials since duplicate shipments are usually not sent out.

Necessary Computer Software

Prior to enrolling in any APUS course, students must have any software or hardware that is required to operate a computer for APUS courses. Necessary computer software and hardware is not considered course material.

Students who need additional software and hardware can view requirements on the Course Materials Guide.

Copyright Infringement

Students who use University resources (such as servers or networks) to illegally distribute copyrighted material face punishments up to and including dismissal.

The unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material is against federal law. Unauthorized distribution is that which lies outside any rights you have procured from the copyright owner or that falls outside the established doctrine of Fair Use. It includes any copyrighted works (such as text, movies, music, etc.). Peer-to-peer file sharing is also considered a violation of copyright law. Failure to comply with copyright law subjects the student to potential civil and criminal prosecution by the copyright holders or their designees.