As an inescapable part of the college experience, textbook costs are widely considered one of the most agonized-over subjects among university students. A new program initiated by Barnes & Noble College Booksellers would allow students to rent books for the semester for less than half of the original textbook cost.
Possible budget and inventory issues stemming from a textbook rental program have been noted by bookstore officials, and the option of renting has only been said to be “a potentially good idea.” While Horned Frogs already pay a premium to attend this private institution, books can tack on several hundred dollars in additional costs per semester.
It is true that some students prefer to keep their textbooks for use in the future, but a majority of students will undoubtedly attempt to resell books for classes that do not pertain to their major. If it is feasible, why not offer the option to rent? It’s unlikely a horde of 8,000-plus students would move en masse to rent books in the first months of such a program, so the bookstore would presumably have enough time to respond appropriately regarding budgets and inventory.
The thing to remember here is the established goal among bookstore employees to satisfy the students. Students are rarely upset by an increase in options. Spending less money on textbooks may not be the reason students flock to the university, but it could well be another reason for them to stick around.
News editor Melanie Cruthirds for the editorial board.