FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DALLAS – What are the two hottest topics on college campuses? Science, mathematics or English 101? Actually, parking and textbook prices fuel the most heated complaints.
Although a shortage of parking spaces can create on-campus traffic jams and moments of frustration for students, the cost of textbooks is always a touchy subject - and Dallas County Community College District students are no exception.
From editorials in campus newspapers to discussions with presidents and DCCCD’s chancellor, students have asked for relief from the high cost of textbooks for years. In fall 2010, they will have a new option - Rent-a-Text, a national textbook rental program designed by the Follett Higher Education Group - that will save them money …about 50 percent less than what they spend right now.
“Through our collaboration with our bookstore partner, Follett Higher Education Group, this new textbook rental option will be available for all DCCCD students this fall,” said Ed DesPlas, executive vice chancellor for business affairs with the district. “Textbook rental is a fast-growing option at colleges and universities across the country. It is one of the lowest cost options we can offer our students to counter the high cost of new textbooks and even used ones.”
Dr. Andrew Jones, DCCCD’s vice chancellor for educational affairs, said, in a letter to DCCCD faculty members, “As educators, we all have a role in lowering education costs.” According to Jones, the new textbook rental program provides the district with an opportunity to help students save money and keep higher education accessible and affordable.
DesPlas stressed several ways in which students will benefit from the new program.
Not all course materials will be available through the rental program, according to Follett, including consumable single-use materials; bundles and packages that contain consumables that are not available separately; loose-leaf and other unbound materials; materials not durable enough for multiple use; and editions at the end of their lives.
DesPlas added that all faculty members have been invited to work with bookstore managers at their college to select textbooks that are part of the rental program. Follett has agreed to provide information to faculty members that they can include on their syllabi that tells students how to find book rental options that are available. “Faculty members have the power to select course materials and provide a major cost savings opportunity for their students, ensuring that they come to class equipped to learn,” added Jones.
Alex Hernandez, journalism major and editor-in-chief of the North Lake College News-Register, said, “Being able to rent my textbooks for the semester is definitely good news. It won't only save me money, but it will also get rid of the hassle of selling back my books at the end of the semester and only getting less than half of my money back.”
Matt Keyser, who also is a journalism major and serves as design editor and lab coordinator for the News-Register, responded, “I think the fact that the district is finally implementing a textbook rental program is great. Finally students may see some relief from the soaring cost of textbooks. I know past semesters that my textbook costs have matched what I've paid in tuition; hopefully, the rental program won't allow that to happen anymore.”
Recent DCCCD graduate Robin Everson, who plans to take three or four more courses as a DePaul University student through Richland College, said, “Anything that is an added benefit to students is helpful. I would look into the rental option for textbooks that I don’t plan to keep - books for classes that are outside my major.”
Dacota Taylor, a broadcast journalism major at Richland, added, “Textbooks are overpriced, and their trade-in value is terrible. Sometimes students have to choose whether or not they can take a class based on the cost of the textbook. I sometimes use online textbooks but would consider using the new rental program as well.”
Follett currently is compiling a comprehensive national textbook rental list that will be available soon at www.rent-a-text.com, where additional information about the program is provided.
For more information, contact DesPlas at 972-860-7752, or Steve Ledford, DCCCD’s district director of auxiliary services, at 972-860-7739.
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