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New textbook trend on campus
A majority of MSU, Mankato students are finding "text rent" more cost-efficient than buying.
By Amanda Dyslin, Mankato Free Press
As an English education major at Minnesota State University, Jessica Kramar’s textbooks each semester retail at about $300.
For a poor college student, that’s a whole lot of ramen and dollar items at McDonald’s.
By renting her books — a practice she adopted a couple of years ago — she pays half that, which is a cost-saving measure a great many MSU students have been taking advantage of this year.
“I actually had some friends that bought their books other places, and when they came with their friends and saw (they could rent), they returned all their books to rent here,” said Kramar, a junior.
Maverick Bookstore began renting textbooks about five years ago with just 20 titles available, powered by Neebo, a nationwide network of college bookstores that provides new, used and rental textbooks, as well as college gear and accessories. Maverick Bookstore added titles that could be rented over time, being careful to make sure that the rental process would be profitable.
About a year ago, the store started offering all of its titles for rent, and manager Kevin Ballard said the savings for students have been remarkable. (University Bookstore in the Centennial Student Union rents a third of its titles as well but doesn’t have current plans to offer rentals of all titles, said manager Carrie Uecker.) Just this semester, students who rented textbooks at Maverick saved $294,201 over the cost of buying the books. About 8,400 books were rented, saving the average student $34.75 per book. For a student with a full course load, that’s about a $150 savings.
“ We can still make a living, and we can still save our customers money,” he said.
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