Saturday, January 22, 2011

Textbook rental programs proliferating on campus

Last fall, 2,200 college stores reported offering textbook rental programs, up from only 300 just a year earlier, according to OnCampus Research, a division of NACS.

Demand for lower textbook prices from both consumers and legislators has spurred college stores to explore new ways of doing business. By renting, students generally pay only 33%-55% of the full price of a textbook.

Based on the results of their initial forays, two-thirds of the stores participating in the OnCampus survey said they plan to expand their rental offerings. Of the responding stores that didn’t offer a rental program, 43% said they plan to launch one. In addition, another 200 chain-managed college stores will add rental programs for the spring semester.

"This means that almost 2,400 college stores are currently offering textbook rentals, and more than 3,000 should be offering textbook rental by next fall,” says Charles Schmidt, NACS director of public relations.

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