Oakland University
Friday, August 27, 2010

New textbook rental program helps students save money

By Dave Groves, staff writer

Oakland University students looking to save money on college textbooks now have an opportunity to rent any of about 100 frequently assigned titles from the Barnes & Noble at Oakland University Bookstore.

Starting this fall, students who choose to rent eligible books will pay just 45 percent of their retail price. There will still be an option to buy new, used and digital editions, of course, but the rental program offers distinct advantages in some situations.

“If students know they won’t want to keep the book at the end of the semester, this is a guarantee that they can get it for a cheaper price,” said Bookstore Manager Debra Ogg. “They just have to get used to turning it in and not getting cash back.”

Unlike buying books new or used, the rental program allows students to get books less expensively and later return them even if a new edition is released for future courses or instructors decide to no longer assign particular titles for the classes they teach. For the most part, eligible books include those assigned in general education classes rather than concentration-specific courses.

Ogg said a unique advantage of the Barnes & Noble program is that it does not require instructors to use a particular title for a set number of semesters or years. Hence, it is likely to attract broader participation and more opportunities for students to save money.

Also unlike other textbook rental programs, the Barnes & Noble plan allows students to write in and highlight the books they rent, just as they would a new or used book. For books returned in usable condition – which is measured by the same guidelines used in the buy back program – no additional fees are charged. Students will have up to 10 days after a semester ends to return rented books, and Barnes & Noble will send a reminder notice as a courtesy.

Ogg said the rental option might not be ideal for every student. To take advantage of it, for example, renters must have a credit card. Payment for the rental can be made in any form – cash, check, credit, gift card, etc. – but students will need to use a credit card to secure the transaction.

“From the students’ perspective, I think it’s a great program because we’re asking, ‘What’s the best way for you to afford the book?’ and then offering them that option,” Ogg said.

Mary Beth Snyder, vice president for student affairs, said expanding options is critical to keeping college affordable – particularly at a time when so many students and their families are struggling to make ends meet.

“We’re looking everywhere we can to reduce the financial burden on students and ensure that we keep our programs accessible,” Snyder explained. “I’m pleased that Barnes & Noble is partnering with us in this effort, and I’m certain students will appreciate having yet another opportunity to cut down on their out-of-pocket costs.”

To learn more about the rental program, visit the bookstore – located on the lower level of Oakland Center – or log on to oakland.bncollege.com/.

Students looking to save money on college textbooks now have an opportunity to rent any of about 100 frequently assigned titles from the OU Bookstore.

Created by Katherine Land - Deleted (land@oakland.edu) on Friday, August 27, 2010
Modified by Katherine Land - Deleted (land@oakland.edu) on Friday, August 27, 2010
Article Start Date: Friday, August 27, 2010