USF students have the option to rent textbooks from their campus bookstore. This is not new on college campuses, but a welcome change for financially burdened students.
Tampa, Fla. — USF students can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that when it’s time to get textbooks for the semester, the USF bookstore is offering more affordable options.
To limit the high costs students pay for textbooks, the USF Tampa bookstore will allow students to rent textbooks and return them at the end of each semester. On average, college students spend $1,000 annually on textbooks. With the cost of tuition, room and board and other expenses, USF administrators realized that something needed to give.
“The benefit of college bookstores is they can offer more of what their students want; more choices, more price points and more savings,” said Nick Fagnoni, store manager at the USF Tampa bookstore.
The increasing costs of textbooks is a concern for the student body. Some used books are available at a lower price, but new books and current editions are often needed depending on the course.
“I’ve bought hundreds of dollars worth of textbooks this semester, all out of pocket,” said Eli Klasne, a junior majoring in international studies. “Buying textbooks is not a smart financial decision, and I usually only need them for a semester at a time. Renting is convenient, cheaper and saves me money that can go toward other expenses.”
Money is tight for a lot of students, many who are already accruing massive amounts of student loan debt. Jarrett Nave, a junior majoring in accounting, expressed his content when he heard about the new textbook rental program.
“I grew low-income income household and I’m also a first-generation college student,” said Nave. “I may not be as financially well off as other students and their families, so I’m trying to cut costs wherever I can.”
With other book rental alternatives such as Amazon and Chegg available to students, the USF bookstore found it increasingly difficult to keep up with their competitors. Renting is the new norm for many college campus bookstores, and USF wants to be a university that remains attentive to the needs of its students.
USF has now joined 1,500 other universities in an effort to make textbook rentals the new normal on college campuses nationwide.