As if the cost of college tuition wasn’t prohibitive enough, the most basic of college essentials – the college textbooks - has steadily been increasing over the last 2 decades.
According to data published by the General Accountability Office (GAO), the price of college textbooks has risen an average of 6% per year since the 1980s.
Twice the rate of inflation!
As it turns out, a few companies have found recent success renting college textbooks to reduce the costs of higher education.
The concept of online textbook rentals is fairly new, with most companies just getting started in 2005 or later, but the business has seen a surge in college student enrollment. Some textbook rental companies are reporting that enrollment spiked as much as 800% in the last year alone. However, it’s not that big of a surprise when considering that online school programs have really taken off as well, signalling an overall shift towards the digital for the education field.
Simple. Students can save as much as 50% to 75% by renting, instead of the traditional means of buying at full price (new or used) and selling them back to the university at a big loss.
The savings are free to be spent upon beer, pizza, and well… you get the idea.
The only real drawback is that each rented textbook must be treated very well. Similar to a library book.
That means, if you write in them or go nuts with a highlighter (some highlights are OK), you are charged full price for the book. Of course, you could probably sell it back to the university without any problems.
Where can you rent your college textbooks?
There could be a few more online rental sites out there because the business is so new, but this is a fairly comprehensive list. Bookrenter alone claims to have reached up to 2000 campuses nationwide.
Photo by Rimone511