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Textbook Rental Program Coming to Eastern

Written by Tim Talley

                         Students Will Have New Way to Reduce Costs


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Willimantic, Conn. -   Eastern Connecticut State University, along with its sister universities in the Connecticut State University System (CSUS), will be offering students a new cost-saving option when they return to classes this fall.  A textbook rental program is being launched that will allow students to rent textbooks for 45 percent of the cost of purchasing a new textbook.  Textbook purchases typically cost students hundreds of dollars each semester.

            The new textbook rental option underscores the cooperative commitment to textbook affordability between CSUS and Barnes & Noble Booksellers.  Books that are available as part of the new rental program will be identified both in the bookstores and online. At Eastern, for example, more than 200 titles are to be included in the program this fall. 

            The new program is operated by Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, which runs the bookstores at Eastern, Central, Southern and Western Connecticut State Universities. Students attending the four CSUS institutions will be able to rent their books from either the university bookstore or online through the bookstore website.

            "I am very pleased that our students now have this rental option to significantly reduce the cost of their textbooks," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "This partnership between our faculty and Barnes & Noble Booksellers is welcome news to families as they manage the costs of their sons' and daughters' college education."


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            The textbook rental program, which will be available to new and returning students, includes the following features:

·                     Students can highlight or mark the rented books just as they would if they purchased a book and planned to sell it back to the bookstore.

·                     Students can convert their rental to a purchase during the first two weeks of class.

·                     The rental period lasts for the duration of the term/semester. Books are due back at the bookstore no later than 10 days after the last day of finals. Students can return the books in person or by mail.

·                     Courtesy e-mails will be sent out as the end of the semester approaches, reminding students to return their books (if an email address is provided). Books not returned (or returned in unusable condition) will be subject to replacement and processing fees.

·Students can pay rental fees using any form of payment currently accepted by the bookstore, including student financial aid and campus debit cards (for security reasons, a valid credit card must be provided regardless of the method of payment).               

              While the rental of textbooks will offer students the lowest up-front cost for textbooks, a used textbook remains the least expensive option - provided it is being reused by a faculty member for the next term and can be sold back to the bookstore for 50 percent of its purchase price, according to Barnes & Noble.

            Effective this month, the federal Higher Education Reauthorization Act requires that colleges and universities make efforts to provide information about required textbooks that students can use to save money.  This will include, for example, providing the ISBN number of required textbooks.  ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number, and every published edition of a book receives a new ISBN.  Publishers are also now required to provide faculty with information that will allow them to consider price and other options when determining books to require for their classes. 

            Barnes & Noble piloted its rental program last year at 25 campus bookstores across the country.  The company reports that more than 90 percent of students surveyed said they would rent from their campus bookstore again.  Each CSUS university bookstore has a dedicated webpage with detailed information on the textbook rental program, including a list of frequently asked questions and answers.  Eastern's bookstore website is found at

For more information about the textbook rental program, please contact the Eastern Bookstore at (860) 465-5283.


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