NAU drives down book costs with Rent-A-Text program

Rent-A-Text, a textbook rental service that could save students up to 50 percent on the cost of new textbooks, will be offered at the Northern Arizona University Bookstore fall 2010.

“We want to provide an additional cost-effective means of helping students access their course materials in hopes of continuing or improving the academic success of NAU students,” said Ken Pegram, NAU Bookstore director.

Quick facts about text rentals

Textbook rental requirements:
18 years of age
Rental payment (cash, check,
credit card or Jacks Debit Card)
Credit card number as collateral
Return policy:
Students can return rented books for
a refund up to seven days from the start of classes.
Students can purchase books at
any time during the rental period.
Rented books must be returned before the end of the semester.
Students can highlight and take
notes, within the normal wear and
tear associated with coursework.
Students can rent books online
or at the bookstore.

The program will be available to students at the Flagstaff campus and to online students in the Extended Campuses as well. Students rent the textbook for a semester instead of purchasing the new or used book.

“I’m stoked that I’m going to be able to rent textbooks at NAU next semester,” said Chelsea Keegan, a junior accounting major. “I’ll spend about half as much money on the books I can rent, which saves me money for things like rent and groceries or something fun.”

The bookstore plans to cover a broad range of titles, Pegram said. He and his staff are compiling select titles to be part of the program and will release the books available for rent closer to the start of fall semester.

Follett Higher Education, which operates the NAU bookstore, says it released the pilot rent-a-text program fall 2009 and saved students nearly $2 million on their course materials at seven schools. More than 90 percent of students surveyed expressed satisfaction with the program, which is expected to reach more than 400 campuses for the 2010 academic year.

Textbooks come fitted with a return date sticker and can be returned to the bookstore in person or through shipping. Students also will receive a series of e-mails reminding them of the date as the deadline approaches.

“We are eager to launch Rent-A-Text because we are committed to providing students with affordable textbook choices,” said Mason Gerety, senior vice president for University Advancement. “We are very excited by the significant benefits this program will offer the Northern Arizona University learning community.”

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