Renting is the new norm
During the first week of school, students face sky-rocketing textbook prices and are turning to other purchasing options.
The price of textbooks has been climbing higher in the last 30 years — up to 812 percent — according to a report by the American Enterprise Institute.
The increase has dwarfed the 559 percent increase in tuition and fees, according to the same report.
The National Association of College Stores found that the average student at a four-year college will spend roughly $300 on each textbook.
“I usually buy my books,” media production junior Jacob Millwee said. “Sometimes the prices are crazy, but I got enough to worry about. I don’t want to have to worry about damaging a book or making sure I return it before a deadline.”
According to a representative for Barnes & Noble College, Judith Buckingham, the University Bookstore has not seen a decline in sales because they offer an array of textbook options.
The Bookstore saw a 49 percent increase in rental sales from the year before, according to Buckingham.
“Textbook rentals offer the features that students want most: convenience and affordability, with students saving more than 50 percent of the price of a new, printed textbook,” Buckingham said.
The past few years have seen a rise to many websites offering book renting services like Chegg.
“We strive to make learning technology easier, more accessible and more productive for today’s college students,” said Dan Rosensweig, president and chief executive officer of Chegg, in a press release for its new eTextbook reader.
There has also been roughly a 10 percent increase in the e-textbook sales at the Bookstore.
“Today e-textbooks represent a small percentage of student purchases, but one that is growing significantly,” Buckingham said. “We provide students with access to over three million titles, many with savings up to 60 percent off the new print price, and as students experiment with the new technologies, more students will be able to decide if the format makes sense for them.”
With so many options, students may find that buying their next textbook may not be that hard after all.