The implementation of an online textbook rental program is under way.


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The process for implementing a textbook rental program is well under way and is a great option for saving students money.

 The online platform is expected to begin in winter or spring at the latest officials say.  Competitive websites that already carry textbooks at a reduced price, include Half.com, Chegg.com, Affordable.com and Throwback.com.   

“We always give options so we decided we need some sort of rental program,” said Leslie Thompson, manager, bookstore services. “I plan on doing rentals as long as it is a viable program.   The success of the program will depend on the numbers, how many people take advantage of it, the feedback and demand.”

After investing money in increased tuition fees, parking, and other fees, it is hard for students to make ends meet and often they have to apply for financial aid.  It is especially tough for international students.

“As an international student it’s already hard to pay for tuition,” said Max Vernon, political science. “If the prices are rising, I might end up just copying the books from the library or rent them online. Of course the state of California has a tight budget, but we can’t sacrifice education.”

The PCC Bookstore claims that it is here to support the college mission by providing exceptional service, reasonably priced items and an overall desire to help in anyway they can. Who thinks spending over $800 on books and supplies in one semester is reasonable?

In some cases, more than one book is required for a class. The typical costs per semester are: tuition – $456, books and supplies – $828, room and board – $2,430, transportation – $630, and miscellaneous – $1,890, an estimated total of $12,468 for one year.

  “If they raise the prices of the books at PCC, more people are going to have trouble attending school,” Vernon said. “They have already raised the tuition. Those who don’t have much money, but that don’t qualify for financial aid, are going to struggle in order to get their education.”

Even though students are given one week during finals to sell back their books for a portion of the purchase price, a lot of time they are turned away because teachers decide to use newer editions for upcoming semesters or they have too many in stock. Without a buy back, students are out of money and are stuck with something that they may never use again.

 “Renting books will make PCC more money because more and more people tend to go online to find their books,” said Vernon.    

The best option is clear, and with the implementation of the textbook rental program, students will save money.  Although it is not ideal in every situation, the benefits out weigh the drawbacks.

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