MSU textbook rental program brings savings

By Mississippi State

STARKVILLE – In partnership with the Barnes & Noble campus bookstore, Mississippi State University officials say a textbook rental program saved university students more than $125,000 during the 2010 fall semester.
“We’re very sensitive to the financial pressures our students face, and we partnered with Barnes & Noble to implement this program for the fall semester to help reduce out-of-pocket costs,” said Lisa Harris, associate vice president for student affairs. “We’re pleased it’s making an impact.”
The program gives students a chance to rent their textbooks for less than 50 percent of the purchase price of a new printed textbook, either by visiting the store or placing an order online. The University of Mississippi has a similar program.
Cecilia Brooks, manager of the Barnes & Noble at MSU, said the store was thrilled with the results.
“By offering rentals, we allow students access to any type of book they need with one stop,” she said, adding that students also may continue to find new, used and electronic texts at the campus store.
Features of the textbook rental program are student-focused, said both Barnes & Noble and campus representatives. Among features:
• Students can pay the rental fees using any form of tender currently accepted by the bookstore, including student financial aid and campus debit cards.
• Students may highlight or mark the rented books, as they would a purchased book they planned to sell back to the bookstore.
• Students may convert their rental to a purchase during the first two weeks of class.
“We’ve been very pleased with the response,” Brooks said.
The program will continue in the spring.
For more information on textbook rentals at Mississippi State, see www.ShopMissState.com.