Textbook rentals offered now at STJ

Nothing says the start of a new semester like purchasing textbooks. Some students fervently surf the web for deals while other students stand in line at the bookstore. But regardless of how the student acquires their books, lots of money is spent for the new school year.

The St. John’s Bookstore introduced Rent-A-Text to the University for the new semester in order to help students save money on books. The bookstore has been pushing for the Rent-A-Text option for months. Unfortunately, this was not possible unless the professor offered the textbook information to the bookstore during the summer. Since very few professors were able to make this commitment, the bookstore utilized Follett who would only make the program official if it was successful at other schools. The St. John’s bookstore soon jumped on the bandwagon after receiving approval from Follett.

In order to rent a textbook on a per semester basis, students must sign a contract with the bookstore supplying them with their personal and credit card information.

There is no limit on the amount of textbooks that a student can rent at one time. However, there is a $500 cap at the St. John’s Bookstore.

A limiting factor concerning Rent-A-Text is that only 38% of the textbooks in the bookstore are rentable. The reason is that books with an access code or loose-leaf packages often used in science, math, or marketing textbooks cannot be rented out. Follett has a national list of books that can be rented in various school bookstores. Once more professors get on board then more textbooks can be rented through the St. John’s Bookstore.

“I think the program is great,” said Mia Vaz, a graduate of St. John’s currently employed at the bookstore. “The half price is easier on the pocket.”

Giselle Miranda, a junior at St John’s University, believes the program is a good idea and likes how the school is finally giving back to the student.

“I think that the option to rent text books is a great concept due to the fact that it’s a huge money saver,” said Miranda. “Unfortunately as a math major under St John’s College, I wasn’t able to use Rent-A-Text because my textbooks didn’t fall under the program. On the upside though, I hope to use the program in the future because I could stand to save some money.”

“With Rent-A-Text the benefits fall on the student,” said Denise Servido, the store manager of the bookstore. “They receive all the books that they need while saving money. They have a big selection and we are working now to make the selection bigger.”

Saving the student between 45%-50% of the cost of the textbook, students prefer the new option at the St. John’s Bookstore. So far, lines in the bookstore are twice as long as they have been in past semesters.     

Servidio ensures that she is working hard to increase the selection of textbooks that can be rented in the bookstore but she needs the help of the professors to do so. She realizes that this is a huge money saver for the student and wants to do everything in her power to make sure that the student continues to save money even if it’s just with textbooks.