Even though textbook rental programs can save college students anywhere from $400 to $800 a year, many universities still only offer textbooks for purchase, Southeast Missouri State University bookstore Assistant Manager Laurie Taylor said.
Jack Vaughn, director of the University Bookstore at Murray State, said many factors contribute to the fact that the bookstore does not offer textbook rentals.
"It would literally cost millions of dollars to start a rental program," he said. "On top of that, new editions come out every two to three years and professors change their required texts. Very few schools use a rental system - that should tell you something."
According to the National Association of College Stores, in 2006 "textbook rental services were offered only by 1.8 percent of NACS member stores in the U.S and Canada."
SEMO is one school that has always had a textbook rental program, Taylor said, and it's not suited for every university.
"We advertise it as a scholarship for every student," she said. "Instead of spending $600-$1,000 a year on books, our students average around $185."
Perhaps not. These poor college kids. Even with the proliferation of online textbook sellers and resellers, spending up to $2000 on books they will use for 4 months is ridiculous.