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Textbook Rental Program Resources

The following is a preview of the content available to NACS members and Associates. If you are not a member, join today.


The following resources are intended to assist stores in understanding, evaluating, and making decisions regarding textbook rental programs.

  • 2011 Rental Task Force Report (PDF)
  • FAQ on Textbook Rental Programs
  • Textbook Rental Program Comparison Chart (PDF)
  • OnCampus Research Brief: College Store Book Rental Program Survey Results (PDF) (November 2010)
  • OnCampus Research Student Rental Survey Executive Summary with Implications for Stores(PDF)—(May 2010) crafted by select NACS Textbook Rental Task Force members
  • Textbook Rental Marketing Kits
  • Sample Faculty Rental Agreement—Bellingham Technical College (DOC)
  • Sample Faculty Rental Agreement—Old Post Bookstore (DOC)
  • Sample Student Rental Agreement—Old Post Bookstore (DOC)
  • Sample Student Rental Agreement—Bellingham Technical College (DOC)


The following are sample bookstore sites that list information about rental resources.

  • Highland Community College Bookstore
  • Chabot College Bookstore
  • Cabrillo College Bookstore
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville


The Big Picture on Textbook Rental

1.How many schools offer rental programs?

According to a NACS OnCampus Research survey and company reports, nearly all of the Association’s nearly 3,000 member stores offer textbook rental programs of some kind. This is up from only 300 or so in the fall of 2009. This growth was sparked by student demand, campus stores wishing to provide more options to students, and governmental encouragement through federal grants.


While most campuses start out providing a hybrid rental program in which only a limited number of titles are available for rent, often for entry-level courses, the number of titles being made available for rent is increasing each term.
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2.How much can students save on textbooks through rental programs?

Students can generally rent a textbook for between 33% and 55% of the cost of a new printed text. While some students who opt for used books and sell them back can realize similar savings, there are many variables that can make this risky; with a rental the student can lock in the savings up front.
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3.What are the start-up costs associated with rental programs?
Exact figures for starting a rental program today are difficult to estimate and depend on how a store decides to implement. Costs can range from a few thousand dollars, for those contracting with a third party up to tens of thousands of dollars if they decide to handle all rentals in-house. In the latter case, the initial capital outlay would need to include money for administration, maintenance, inventory, and the cost of additional space for storage.
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4.Does NACS support rental programs?

NACS is supportive of textbook rentals and other innovations that will improve affordability and accessibility of high quality course materials via college stores. Textbook rental programs generally have worked well when campus support and leadership exist, and when faculty members are willing to make longer-term commitments to their adopted course materials.
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Revised: September 2013


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