Southeastern students save dollars by renting textbooks
Contact: Rene Abadie
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Tiffany Wilkinson, Southeastern sophomore education major from Walker, collects her books for the upcoming semester at the university’s Textbook Rental Store. Assisting her is employee Dee Canale.
HAMMOND – Now more than ever university students heading back to school are looking for ways to save money.
For years students at Southeastern Louisiana University have saved a significant amount of money by using the university’s textbook rental system, a service that only a handful of institutions in the country offer.
The cost of textbooks is no small matter; a recent survey by Southeastern’s Office of Auxiliary Services shows the retail price of current books used in a freshman semester is more than $1,000, while renting those same books would cost only $175. The prices of books go up as students require more specialized texts in areas such as science and business.
“Students and parents love it,” said Connie Davis, Southeastern director of Auxiliary Services, which operates the system. “For one flat fee per course, the students rent their textbooks rather than having to buy them.”
For a $35 fee per course, a student is issued up to two textbooks per course. Inexpensive paperbacks, spiral bound books, work books, and those books that are updated frequently – such as tax manuals – are not included in the rental system.
Davis said Southeastern works closely with faculty to ensure that textbooks adopted by the system will be used for at least two years. All that is asked of students is that they return the books on time and undamaged once the semester is complete.
“My brother attended another university, and he had to pay a lot just for his books,” said Tiffany Wilkinson, a sophomore elementary education major from Walker. “So by renting my textbooks, I save my parents a lot of money.”
Southeastern introduced the system more than 75 years ago and has used the feature as a recruiting tool.
“Parents remember from their college days lining up to buy books and having to write a fairly sizeable check,” Davis said. “This is much less painful.”