TCU students now have an on-campus textbook rental option courtesy of the TCU Bookstore.
The bookstore is offering textbook rentals as a new option to students purchasing textbooks from the store this semester. Students may rent any book with the rental option available, both online and in the store.
“Our first priority is to the students, because without them we wouldn’t be here,” bookstore manager Llisa Lewis said. “Book prices keep rising, and now is the time to offer more options to students. We have 900 titles available for rental.”
Rental prices are 50 percent of the cost of purchasing new textbooks, and the rented books must be returned by the day following the last day of finals.
“Right now, buying a used book and selling it back is still the best option,” Lewis said. “But what I see is the used book market depleting. I have to buy used books to get used books, and they aren’t always available. Rentals provide students with another option.”
Students have been able to rent textbooks before this semester, but they’ve had to use online resources. According to makeuseof.com, some of the top textbook rental sites include Chegg, Bigwords and Textbooks.com.
“I’ve rented from Chegg before,” sophomore psychology major Lauren Payne said. “It was better for me because I was taking an online class and I had no idea where to buy and sell back books.”
“We only rent to TCU students and staff, so [students] need to have their TCU IDs with them when they get their books,” textbook manager Roman Coronado said. “Also, if they are paying for their rentals at the bookstore (instead of online), the credit card they must file needs to be in their own name, not their parent’s name.”
Students may file a debit instead of a credit card with the store, as long as the debit card has a Visa or Mastercard label on it, Coronado said.
Should students drop a class or decide they need to return a rented book for another reason, the same return policy applies to rented and purchased textbooks. The bookstore also allows the same amount of highlighting and writing in rental books as they do in books they buy back from students.
If students decide they want to convert their textbook rental into a purchase, they may also do that.
Coronado said in the first two weeks of school, students will pay the difference between the rent price and the price of whatever condition the textbook is in (new or used). After that, they will have to purchase the book in addition to paying the rental price they’ve already paid, he said.
Some students are already embracing the rental option in the bookstore. Coronado said the store has already filled about 14 percent of online orders with rental options, and that number is likely to go up as more orders come in.
“I think it’s pretty cool that the bookstore is offering this option,” freshman pre-business major Nick Clarke said. “I rented textbooks when I was in high school and I’m doing it again now. It’s easier because I don’t have to worry about selling them back, plus it takes less time to just return them.”
Other students, however, still choose to buy their books. Junior philosophy major Chad Wood said he prefers to purchase his textbooks to build his library.
“Philosophy books are timeless; they never change,” he said. “It’s beneficial for me to keep my books as references. If I were in premed, renting would be a good idea because those books change [editions] every few years.”
Although Wood doesn’t rent his own books, he said he thinks rentals are an option everyone should consider.
“Everyone should think about it because for most people, it makes sense to rent,” he said. “[Renting] can be a good way to combat high textbook prices. Sometimes it just makes sense to save the money.”