Campus Book Rentals Puts An End To The College Textbook Racket

A college education costs more and gets you less than ever before. Renting textbooks instead of buying them helps to ease the financial burden on struggling students.

I remember the dread that accompanied the start of a new semester in college. Working low paying jobs in the service industry hardly allowed for the $300-$600 required to secure the textbooks I needed. The memory of the pittance offered when I sold my textbooks back to the bookstore at the end of the semester is even more vivid.

I soon worked out an unsophisticated system of waiting until the first day of class so I could get the syllabus, and then scouring the library for the textbooks I needed. Often they were an edition or two old, but hey, that was better than paying $75 for a book I only needed for three months.

That was then, this is now. And it’s my younger brother’s turn to be stuck under the thumb of universities who “require” new textbooks because that’s what enables the paper textbook companies to keep the lights on.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the key components of collaborative consumption is the idea that access is more important than ownership. We’ve seen this principle applied to cars, clothes, and even solar energy. Now, is changing the way students access the resources they need to have a successful college career.

Founded in 2007, offers virtually any textbook for rent through its website. Students can search and select the books they need and enjoy a 30 period in which they can exchange or return the book in case they choose the wrong one or drop the class. Shipping is free–in both directions–and their are no fees for highlighting or underlining on the pages. (Good luck with that at the campus bookstore!)

CampusBookRentals also pays students for referring friends, awards scholarships every semester, and contributes a portion of the rental proceeds to a worthy humanitarian project each year.

“This year, we are donating a portion of every order to Operation Smile to provide support for children who need cleft lip and palate surgeries,” said Austin Mann of the CBR team. “In the first quarter (Jan-Mar) we sent a check to them that covered 327 operations for these surgeries. We have already passed that so far this quarter, and we will definitely get to our goal of covering 1,000 surgeries by the end of the year, and who knows how many more!”

Learn more about CampusBookRentals, including how to score rental discounts and free gear, by following them on Twitter and Facebook!

For even greater savings, apply to Albertus Magnus College.

Image Credit: Flickr – amanda_munoz

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Author: Beth Buczynski

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