Renting college textbooks more common

As many as 90% of Miami University students opt to rent rather than buy.

A recent campus survey showed 80 percent to 90 percent of students have rented a textbook, according to Sarah Thacker, Interim Director of Miami University Bookstores.

The average college graduate in Ohio leaves school with a debt of $29,278, according to a U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee 2013 report. Students estimate they spend $655 annually on required course materials — that is down from $667 two years ago and from $702 four years ago, according to a national study conducted by OnCampus Research, a division of the National Association of College Stores NACS.

On average, Miami University students spend $700 a semester either buying or renting textbooks, Thacker said.

A total of about 2,000 titles are available at Follett’s Miami Co-op Bookstore, and 1,850 can now be rented, according to Gail Paveza, store director.

“If we can rent it, we will rent it … it’s an exciting new program,” Paveza said.

Follett’s estimates students can save up to 50 percent by renting rather than buying a textbook.

Incoming freshman Ethan Devillez, of Germantown, plans to rent at least four books this semester.

“I’m going to be getting books over eight semesters so it’s a lot more economical to rent and I won’t have books stacking up in my room over the years,” Devillez said.

Devillez, a zoology major, said he’ll most likely spend around $800 this semester on textbooks.

Miami students rented around 10,000 books last school year from the campus bookstore compared to 7,000 rentals the year before, according to Thacker.

Miami University Bookstores has between 850 to 900 titles for rent, Thacker said.

“Students still like to sell books back at the end of semester because they can get cash, but a lot of students like to rent because it’s not always a guarantee that you’ll be able to sell your book back at the end of the semester,” she said.

Miami University’s first day of classes for the fall semester is Aug. 26.