The textbook rental fee will see its first increase since 2013, jumping from $140 per semester to $148 by May 2018, according to bookstore director Lorraine Childers.
The textbook rental program allows students to pay a flat fee every semester that covers the cost of textbooks available for rental.
This allows students to save a substantial amount on textbooks each semester, Childers said.
Childers said the fee increase is due to increased textbook prices and a new option given to students that allow them to opt out of the rental program.
“We have to be able to cover our costs if there is a percentage of students who choose to drop out,” Childers said.
Childers said the ability to opt out was federally mandated by the Department of Education on July 1, 2016 to allow students to seek more competitive pricing.
Most of the students who opt out are studying abroad or taking internships, Childers said.
Childers could not answer how many students would have to opt out for the program to be inoperable, but said that they were nowhere near that point.
Along with the fee increase due in the coming semesters, online access codes lost coverage under the program beginning Fall 2016, Childers said.
Vice chancellor for business affairs, Paul Forte, spoke highly of the program. It is a great program and he doesn’t foresee its future existence to be in any kind of jeopardy, he said.
“I really feel like the rental program is extremely beneficial to students, and it is the best value or one of the best values in the tuition that students pay,” Childers said. “We work very hard to see that we keep those prices low.”
Story by: Ben Sessoms, News Reporter