There is no question that textbooks are becoming a huge financial problem for students today. The costs of their books have soared. Most students acquire scholarships and loans thinking of their tuition. However, textbooks are an expenditure which they cannot control.
Textbooks are required for most courses that you take on a college campus or even online. They hold the content about which students will be tested in order to receive grades. Without these books, students would have to rely entirely on the lecture portions of their courses, which may not cover everything that they need to know.
Furthermore, many professors assign questions and projects found only in these textbooks. They are really necessities for any student who wants to pass his or her courses.
However, these textbooks are increasingly expensive. The public has naturally focused a lot of attention on rising tuition costs at colleges around the country. Secretly, though, textbooks prices have been rising without any widespread attention being focused on them.
Universities are in some ways to blame, especially when you remember that their professors write many of the textbooks and then force their students to buy them at outrageous prices. Students then finish the course with a book on their shelf that they will probably never need again.
Nevertheless, there are few solutions out there for students who cannot afford these prices. Some books are available as downloads in the form of less expensive eBooks. Many campuses buy back books and sell them to students who need them in order to reduce the financial impact on students. An additional solution has presented itself at campuses and with online textbook companies.
The Rental Solution
Renting textbooks online makes sense for a lot of reasons. To begin with, this solution is much cheaper than buying. Students can rent a textbook for a fraction of the price that their classmates spend on purchasing that same textbook. This is suitable for their purposes also because they turn the book back in at the end of the term. They no longer need the book and the university can now rent it to another student for the same price.
This is a type of turnaround for universities that they cannot do with textbook purchases. Used textbooks must be sold at lower prices. A rented textbook, however, can be reused multiple times for the same price.
How It Works
Renting textbooks is simple. You can do it on campus at your school’s bookstore or you can do it online with the same school or with a textbook company that provides inexpensive options in this area for students around the country. Either way, you will need to know a few things before you make an order.
When you register for a class, the school usually provides information about the name of the text required. A lot of students simply go to their local college bookstore and spend far too much money for the required textbook. Instead, an alternative merely requires you to record the ISBN number of that book.
With this data, you can go to an online provider of college textbooks and search for the book. By merely punching in the numbers in a search field, you can access the book that you need. The price will appear and you will be satisfied that it is much lower than the price of buying the textbook outright.
There is often a shipping charge with a rental but some companies may excuse you from that cost if the total purchase is above a certain amount. You can usually pay with any type of credit card or debit card or even a bank account number.
Your textbooks will come with a 30-day guarantee. If you have already attended some college classes, then you probably understand how important this is. Not everyone completes every course for which they register.
Getting stuck with a rental fee would be disastrous if you decide to drop a course or simply change your college plans for some other reason. With a guaranteed refund, you can avoid losing money just because your schedule changes.
You can usually rent a textbook as late as two weeks after a course starts. After that time, it may no longer be available. You can also hold onto the book longer than the term lasts just in case you have special courses or final exams that take place later than usual.
If you need the book longer than that, for whatever reason, you can acquire an extension for a small fee. You simply access your account online, check the box for the extension that you want and give permission for an additional expenditure with your credit card or bank account. Your due date will change instantly and you can enjoy the use of your textbook without worrying about it.
Should you need to rent your textbook again, because you have to retake the course or for some other reason, the solution is just as easy. In fact, many companies will give you a reduced rate and lower the cost of the second rental significantly.
However you choose to handle this, your textbooks will arrive in shipping boxes to your mailing address. This usually takes a few days at least but it may take longer, depending on the text and the company.
The books should come with shipping labels that you can use when the term for your textbook rental is up. You just put the books back into the same boxes or different boxes on which you place the shipping labels. You can drop them off at a designated location and forget about them.
What if Your Textbook Is Late?
If you rent your textbook too late to receive it by the beginning of your course or it simply takes too long for the book to arrive, you do not have to worry about studying or completing assignments. Most companies will allow you to access a digital version online until the texts arrive. When they do, you lose access to the web page dedicated to that book.