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Rent-A-Text Program Set for Fall Implementation at ASU Bookstore

March 26, 2010

To help address the high cost of textbooks, the Angelo State University Bookstore is adding a third option – renting – to the choices ASU students will have in the future to meet their needs for course books.

Follett Higher Education Group, which operates the bookstore in conjunction with ASU, is starting the rental program this fall for more than 20 percent of the books offered through their campus outlet. Starting this fall, students will have the option of buying a new text at the regular price, purchasing a used text at 75 percent of the regular price or renting a text at 50 percent of the regular price.

Greg Pecina, executive director of business services for ASU, said the Rent-A-Text program is responding to a growing need to address the rising cost of textbooks, especially in a down economy.

“We are sensitive to the cost of textbooks,” Pecina said, “and have been working with Follett to give our students other options on campus. Not all courses and required texts will fit within the parameters of the program, but we will work with faculty to make certain as many texts as possible will be available for rental.”

According to an assessment by Follett, 21.8 percent of the titles sold in the ASU Bookstore last fall would have qualified for the Rent-A-Text program and resulted in a savings of $183,024 for students that semester.

Under the program, Follett has developed a list of some 20,000 textbook titles nationally that would be eligible for the program if any of those texts were adopted by a faculty member for a course. If a book was not on the national list, faculty members could still include it in the Rent-A-Text program as long as they agreed to use it for four long semesters.

While the program does not lend itself to some fields like the sciences and health care where texts are produced more frequently to maintain the timeliness of the information, Pecina said the program is a viable option for many fields of study.

To participate in the Rent-A-Text program, students would be required to present a driver’s license for identification and to provide collateral in the form of a credit card number to the bookstore. Participants must have an e-mail or cell phone electronic message address so they can be reminded when to return the book. Participants must be 18 in order to sign a rental agreement or have their parents do it.

After renting either a new or used book, students may highlight materials or make notes in the book as they would if they had purchased it. When the semester is completed, they must return the book in acceptable condition on or before the check-in date listed on their receipt.

Students deciding to keep the book can convert the rental into a purchase until the end of the refund period. Students opting to buy a rented book will receive a refund on the rental fee and then be charged the regular retail price, based upon whether the book was new or used when originally rented.

“With this new option,” Pecina said, “Angelo State students will have a viable way of economizing on many of their book costs while still receiving the support they rely on from the ASU Bookstore.