by Eloy Yndigoyen (The Campus Investor)
Second semester is starting in a few days and college students around the country will begin the dreaded textbook buying process. I remember walking into the on campus book store at Maryland and shelling out upwards of $500 or more for the semester’s books, luckily I had financial support for this but I saw many students struggle to pay for even a single textbook. Nowadays, with so many of our parents out of work and fewer part time jobs to go around, wallets are even tighter.
Now, what is one to do when people don’t want have the means to buy new or even used books? Well, just like a Netflix DVD, let’s rent it and then send them back when we are done with them. What do I think about these types of ventures? IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME! College is expensive enough already and one of the extremely high, yet hidden costs of attending and being successful in school is the high price of textbooks. The idea behind renting a textbook is a simple one as well.
Large bookstore retailers around the country are beginning to catch on to this new, yet very lucrative market. Barnes & Noble (Symbol: BKS) recently announced it was going to allow students to rent textbooks at 25 of its 636 campus bookstores across the country. I know you’re probably thinking that number is small but hey its better then none! B&N did a pilot program at a few schools this past year and found it to be very successful. Some of the schools included are The University of Maryland, University of South Carolina, and The Ohio State University.
“We’ve had a tremendous response from students and faculty to our rental program and as a result have continued to expand it to other colleges and universities across the country,” says Max Roberts, president of Barnes & Noble College Booksellers. “What makes our program so unique is that we’ve made saving on textbooks even easier for students by providing them the option of ordering their rentals online and having them shipped or picked up at their campus bookstore.”
There you have it folks, no more buying that Economics textbook for $100 and selling it back for just $10. I know I know, that ten bucks was going to buy you some beers on dollar beer night at the bars but hey, think about how financially savvy you will sound when you call home and tell your parents you know a great idea on how to save money on textbooks.