Tuesday, August 3, 2010

College Stores Offering Affordable Textbook Rentals in Record Numbers

/PRNewswire/ -- Last week, The National Association of College Stores (NACS) issued the first in a series of releases on the choices college stores are offering students to make course materials more affordable--used textbooks. This week, NACS identifies another option.

Option #2 Rentals

As of fall 2010, textbook rental services will be offered by approximately one-half of NACS' more than 3,000 member stores in the U.S. and Canada, up from only 200-300 stores last fall. Most campuses will offer hybrid rental programs that allow students to rent textbooks for entry-level courses.

"More college stores are offering these options, and rentals can give students temporary access to course materials for about one-third to one-half the price of buying new texts," says Charles Schmidt, NACS' director of public relations.

The award winning textbook rental program within California's San Mateo County Community College system has saved students $1.2 million since 2005 and inspired money-saving rental programs at other colleges nationwide. In addition, federal law is encouraging schools to explore low-cost textbook options, particularly rentals.

"Textbook rental can be an attractive option for students whose economic situation is such that price is the over-riding determinant of whether or not they will have a textbook," says Schmidt. "Our members are committed to ensuring students have the academic tools they need to succeed, and the textbook is primary in that - no matter how accessed or in what format."

Rentals are best for larger, introductory courses because the material doesn't change. In addition, rental might be most appropriate for classes not in a student's major course of study.

"For an engineering major taking a philosophy course to fulfill a humanities requirement, renting textbooks might make sense," Schmidt notes. "However, a chemistry major will often refer back to his/her Introduction to Organic Chemistry text later in their academic career, and maybe even in their professional career, so buying makes more sense."

"By offerings these options, college stores are helping provide college students with affordable course materials to ensure their academic success."

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