Textbook rentals reduce costs

Freshmen Alex Schrieks and Brandon Lay search for rentable textbooks in the Bookstore. Adrianne D'Angelo//The Miami Hurricane
Freshmen Alex Schrieks and Brandon Lay search for rentable textbooks in the Bookstore. Adrianne D'Angelo//Assistant Photo Editor

This fall semester the campus bookstore is helping reduce the costs of the college experience by introducing a textbook rental program.

Rent-A-Text, a service offered by the Follett Higher Education Group, allows students to rent over 2,200 required textbooks from the campus bookstore for an entire semester at a relatively low price.

“The prices between rentals and sales are drastically different,” said Pietro Bortoletto, vice president of Student Government. “For example, a chemistry book that would cost $157 new and $127 used would be offered at $73 for rental.”

Aside from the average 50 percent in savings, students are allowed to keep the rented book until the end of finals and may choose to buy it or receive a refund if they drop the class.

Though there seems to be a catch, there isn’t.

In fact, one of the biggest perks of the program is the ability to mark the textbooks with moderate highlighting and underlining.

“I would definitely use the rental option,” freshman Lina Hernandez said. “The fact that you can mark them makes it the best option.”

If textbooks are not returned or are returned damaged, students will be charged a flat fee that varies depending on how much was orginally spent on the book.

Textbooks are already available for rent, though not every course’s book titles are offered.

“We’re focusing on the bigger, general education classes first and then expanding the selection,” said senior Christina Farmer, president of Student Government.

The service was one of the major initiatives taken on by the UFirst platform, which was elected in the spring. Its goal to make things easier for students placed the cost of textbooks on the forefront.

“When I was running on the UFirst ticket, I heard from many students about the issue of textbook affordability,” Farmer said. “We worked on it through the summer with the bookstore and are very excited that it’s now available.”

To rent textbooks, students should visit the bookstore’s Web site to register for a rental account as listed on the homepage, which makes it faster to rent the text at the bookstore.

“I think it’s an excellent program. Books are one of the many expensive parts of college life, yet there’s really no financial aid for them,” said junior Michael Kaplan, a Student Government senator. “This is a better way for students to get books for cheap.”

For more information on Rent-A-Text, visit http://www.rent-a-text.com.

Nicolette Roque may be contacted at nroque@themiamihurricane.com.