Renting college textbooks, a new option to help save money - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/3/10

Renting college textbooks, a new option to help save money

By Katie Bauer - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - As college tuition costs continue to rise, students and their parents are always looking to save an extra buck. 

In a couple of weeks Taryn Borchardt will start her freshmen year at Texas Tech, and along with all the costs of tuition, room and board, are books.

"You don't really realize how expensive they are until you get here and start looking at the prices," said Borchardt.

New this year, Varsity Bookstore is just one of many college textbook outlets offering the option to rent.

"We've always tried to do used books to help them save, but now this is another option for them," said Varsity Bookstore General Manager Bob Davenport.

Davenport says select books are available for rent per semester.

"Savings this Fall will be 55% of the new price," said Davenport.

Unlike new and used books, you will not get any money back once it's returned, but money back isn't even a guarantee on purchased books.

"In some cases you don't anyway with the way books change and go out of edition and that sort of stuff," said Davenport.

Davenport says this first year of book rental will be the toughest on the store, because they are taking a direct cut of profit.

"We're taking a gamble that it's going to work and hopefully it will pay off for the students as well as us," said Davenport.

It's a new option, for a new student, who is just trying to save every penny.

"You look at the idea of renting and it just seems like the better choice," said Borchardt.

There are penalties if you lose or damage a rented book. At Varsity Bookstore, you will have to pay the remainder of the new book cost, plus a $15 fee.

Experts say the best advice when shopping for text books is not to be afraid of shopping around and even online.

Example of a personal finance book:

New: $176

Used: $130

Rent: $87

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