Students save with book rentals

MONEY: Many students are getting more for their dollar by avoiding purchasing textbooks.

Each semester, students go to the bookstore to get their required books for class, and end up spending hundreds of dollars.

Now, renting textbooks is an option that can – and has – saved students from breaking the bank.

Since 2010, the UND Bookstore, operated by Follett, has been offering a program called Rent-A-Text in which students can rent textbooks for typically half the price of purchasing them.  Since the start of the program, UND students have saved a substantial amount: $2 million. Follett, which operates bookstores across the country, reports students have saved $1.5 billion at stores that have the Rent-A-Text program.

Renting textbooks is actually similar to purchasing a book.

Both the UND Bookstore and Dakota Textbook gives students the option to buy or rent for a reduced price, although renting options may not be available for all books that may be required for certain classes.

“We are proud to provide a risk-free rental program with the freedom to highlight and take notes as well as convert the rental to purchase should a student decide they would like to keep the book,” UND Bookstore manager Marie Mack said.

This can help students feel more comfortable with renting because they are allowed to use the book as though it is their own, according to Mack.

Many UND students, such as Joe Larson, chose to rent this year.

“I rented as much as I could because it’s cheapest,” Larson said.

On average, students such as Larson save 50 percent or more on cost when choosing to rent.

Renting textbooks is a rising trend at the UND Bookstore, which Mack attributes to two factors.  First, the bookstore has been increasing the amount of books available to rent.

“The bookstore is constantly working with faculty members to identify more local rental titles and expand our rental assortment,” Mack said.

Another reason for the increase is due to students becoming more familiar and comfortable with the Rent-A-Text program.

Even though renting tends to be cheaper, some students stick to the tradition of purchasing textbooks to keep as their own.  Cassidy Kraft has never chose to rent her textbooks because.

“It’s easier to purchase my books because it is less stress and more convenient,” Kraft said.

Other students choose to do a combination of both buying and renting, especially upperclassmen who are interested in keeping some books for reference in their future professions.

“Books are outrageously priced,” student Sondra Pergotski said. “I keep ones that I want to keep for the future and rent ones that I don’t need.  It adds up fast and renting is super easy and you can even highlight.”

Students interested in renting must be of 18 years of age or older or have a parent signature, to sign a rental agreement stating that you will return your rented book by a particular day.

Students must also have a valid credit card for collateral purposes, a valid identification and a valid e-mail.

For more information about renting textbooks, refer to the UND Bookstore website at or their Facebook page,, or Dakota Textbook at and

Megan Hoffman is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at