Bookstore expands on textbook rental program

In an effort to save students money, the bookstore teamed up with Follet Higher Education Group to expand on the rent-a-book program and to also allow students to download books digitally.

Last year, the rent-a-book program saved Seton Hall students three-hundred and eighteen thousand dollars.

The Director of Campus Relations for Follet Higher Education, Elio Distaola, said he approaches faculty members directly to get their books up for rent.

He said in 2009 seven stores were using this program and today it has expanded to eight-hundred and sixty and has saved students two-million dollars nationwide.

“It is going to keep continuing to grow,” Distaola said.

Many Seton Hall students said they rent through the bookstore because it is cheaper than buying, but others still claim it is not cheap enough.

Senior, Megan Gardner, said she does not prefer to rent through the bookstore.

“I get better deals online, especially since I can resell them,” Gardner said.

Junior, Caitlyn Rittenhouse, agreed that renting online saves more money.

“It’s a lot cheaper to buy books off Amazon or Chegg,” Rittenhouse said.

The other initiative The Follet Higher Education Group has taken to save students money is downloading texts digitally.

Through students can download full textbooks or even certain chapters of textbooks.

“It would be really awesome to only download chapters and not full books since most of the time we don’t need to use the full book anyway,” Rittenhouse said.

This program saves students thirty to fifty percent off the cost of printed texts.

Included in this program is the ability to highlight, take notes, annotate, bookmark, and even read and share notes on the text with your friends and professors.

A seven day cost free “Try Now Buy Later” program is also included, which allows students to test it out and see if they prefer it over printed text.

Some students agree that the program is a fantastic idea and much more convenient than buying hardcover books.

However, many said that they were unaware that these initiatives had been in effect through the bookstore.

“I had no idea that they were even doing this. They should advertise this to save students money,” Rittenhouse said.

Gardner also noted that she was unaware of the program, but that she would have done it this semester if she had.

Distaola said he predicts a growth in digital production.

“We’re prepared for digital demand,” Distaola said. “If publishers make their books native to digital, you will see demand spike.”According to Distaola, the new programs reach out to every type of student.

“I know it sounds cliché, but every student is unique,” Distaola said. “Campus is full of choices.”

Lindsay Rittenhouse can be reached at

Author: Lindsay Rittenhouse

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