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Higher Ed in the News

Textbook rentals is a new, cheaper alternative

July 26, 2010

In an effort to curb rising book prices amid other increasing college costs, bookstores at hundreds of campuses across the country will begin renting textbooks at about half the cost of buying them.

The move toward more affordable options comes as federal legislation to control runaway textbook costs kicked in this month. Textbook prices have risen 14 percent in the past year, according to a major book retailer, growing at four times the rate of inflation for many years.

The new law, passed by Congress as part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act in 2008, will make professors more aware of the cost of textbooks by mandating that publishers disclose the prices during the marketing process.

A typical undergraduate today spends $900 to $1,200 a year on textbooks, compared with $400 to $600 a decade ago, said Joseph Mercurio, executive vice president of Boston University.


Read more from the Boston Globe.