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Novel Idea Helps HSU Students Save Money on Textbooks

By Janlyn Thaxton



Hardin-Simmons University students will save half the cost on their textbooks this fall with a new Rent-A-Textbook program. Students can even write and highlight in the rented textbooks just the same as when they are purchased at full price says bookstore manager J.T. Box.Follett Higher Education Group, which operates the bookstore in conjunction with HSU, is offering 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.Box says the Rent-A-Text program is responding to a growing need to address the rising cost of textbooks, especially in a down economy.Box says not all courses and required texts will fit within the parameters of the program, “but we work with faculty to make certain as many texts as possible can be available for rental.”{{more}}Under the program, Follett has developed a list of some 20,000 textbook titles nationally eligible for the program. If a book is not on the national list, faculty members can still include it in the Rent-A-Text program as long as they agree to use it for four semesters.While the program does not lend itself to some fields of study, where texts are produced more frequently to maintain the timeliness of the information, Box says the program is a viable option for many fields of study.To participate in the Rent-A-Text program, students are 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 within seven working days after end of finals.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.

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