After a full renovation, the Cedarville University campus has added a textbook-rental kiosk that’s saved students over $50,000 alone in the fall 2013 semester.
Tammy Slone, manager of retail services, said the kiosk has made a student’s education more affordable and less stressful. Through the kiosk, students rent books and simply return them to the store at the end of the semester. If students decide to keep the rented books, they only have to pay the difference between the rental and purchase price.
The bookstore partnered with Campus Book Rentals and a software called Verba to answer the demand for more affordable textbooks. With the kiosk, students simply choose their textbooks, scan them at the kiosk and pay with either financial aid or credit card. The rental program works with all textbooks except consumables, and reduces student hassle.
With the Verba software, a price-comparison tool, students instantly view competitor’s textbook prices. The bookstore has rented approximately 1,906 books and has 780 titles available for rent. Previous to this program, the store offered only 40 titles for rent.
Slone said her ultimate goal is to help students. “As the cost of textbooks has risen, our bookstore wanted to give students options,” Slone said. “With the rental program, we save a student on average $107 per order.”
Other Ohio schools such as Bowling Green State University and the University of Dayton utilize a similar program. Prior to its launch, Slone visited neighboring schools and researched the best options for a rental program.
In addition to saving students money, the bookstore has increased sales, which enables them to offer more options and better serve the needs of students.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Inspiring greatness for over 125 years, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.