Missouri Western students now have the option to rent textbooks from the Barnes and Noble Bookstore on campus.
The rental program is a new option offered for the first time this semester. Western decided to try the textbook rental program because it seems to be growing in popularity. Western plans to make the rental program a permanent option.
Students who rent their textbooks could save up to 45 percent of the new book price. A new book that sells for $100 would rent for around $45. A new psychology book from the Western bookstore cost $102, but the same book rented for $45.90. A sociology book sold new for $101.35 or used for $76, but it rented for $45.60.
Both new and used textbooks are rented. Greg Nikes, the bookstore manager, said there is not a different in price and that the bookstore tries to rent new books out, so students who buy their books are able to save money as well.
“There is just one rental price for books,” Nikes said. “We rent the new for the reason that we’d rather have used available for purchase.”
Students have ten days after the last day of finals to return books. The bookstore will send out emails to remind students that their books must be returned. Nikes suggested that students go ahead and return their rental books when they come in to sell back the books they bought.
Return conditions for books are simple as well. Nikes said it is similar to buying a book and returning it at the end of the semester.
“You can still highlight in it and make notes in it, but you can’t dump your coke all over it or bring it back without a cover,” Nikes said.
When renting a textbook, students get no money back at the end of the semester. Students pay a rental fee at the beginning of the semester. The rental fee is cheaper than buying a used book, but if students buy a used book and sell it back, it could end up being cheaper than renting.
Not all books are available for rent. Books that are available for rent will vary with each semester. Nikes said that this semester there were probably over 200 books available for renting. Books that are not available are student workbooks, where students may have to remove sheets from the book, and books that have access codes.
Junior Amber Marie Nold said that she was able to find the books she wanted to rent with no problem. She said the bookstore website provided a list of books available to rent.
“There were a couple of books that I knew I would be using in coming semesters, so I bought them,” Nold said. “I mainly rented books that I did not think I would be needing in the future.”
Nold also said that she enjoys being able to rent books, especially books that are not for her major which she will only use once.
Sophomore Jessica Vaughn thinks that the rental program is a great idea.
“I think textbook rental is a great option for students because they don’t have to spend as much money on a book they’ll never use again,” Vaughn said.
Renting books is available simply so students have the option. It is very similar to buying a book and returning it at the end of the semester, except that students do not receive money back.
The rental program will continue to be offered in the following years for students who wish to take advantage of it.