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TAMIU ‘Rent-A-Text’ Program
Off to Impressive Start

A new text rental program initiated by Texas A&M International University’s Follett Bookstore has shown impressive results in its first semester of implementation, officials said.

“ ‘Rent-A-Text’ here has proven popular with our students, and we predict that as additional titles are added, it will continue to grow,” said Juan J. Castillo Jr., TAMIU vice president for finance and administration.  

“In its first semester, we saw 2,526 titles rented, about 11 percent of all titles sold.  Close to 30% of our titles are available as rentals, with more being added. Most importantly, the savings accorded to students by renting was $105,265,” Castillo explained.

Socorro Calderon, TAMIU-Follett Bookstore manager, said interest in the program has been high and once students are familiar with its advantages, they are eager to pursue rental.

“ ‘Rent-A-Text’ is much like any other rental service:  instead of buying the textbook, you rent it.  The rental saves the students more than 50 percent off the price of the textbook. Students get same-day, on-site service, can highlight and take notes within the book, have a number of payment options.  With their savings, they can afford other supplies and materials,” Calderon said. “In addition to texts, there are other course materials available for rental, including study guides and course supplements,” she noted.

Calderon said student support has been strongly augmented by faculty enthusiasm.

“Our TAMIU faculty has been great with this program. Of course, they have their students’ best interests in mind and want them to be able to save money.  In addition, faculty can request titles to be added to the program,” she indicated.

Nationally, ‘Rent-A-Text’ will reach approximately 5 million students and is projected to save students more than $130 million in the 2010-2011 academic year, Follett officials say.

Follett has indicated it has invested $120 million in its textbook rental programs and training.  It has also developed new systems in multiple sales channels to provide students with greater flexibility.  The investment includes 750 campus bookstores, 240 online stores and 150 independently managed college stores.  

Follett also offers CaféScribe, an e-textbook and social networking platform for students.  With it, students can read, search, highlight, bookmark and annotate their digital textbooks, as well as share notes and discuss topics with peers in and out of their classrooms.

Registration for the coming Spring semester at TAMIU begins Monday, Nov. 1. Financial Aid will be available to students beginning Dec. 15 and continuing till Jan. 26.

For additional information, contact the TAMIU Bookstore at 956.326.2080, visit offices in the new University Success Center, ground floor, e-mail tamiu@bkstr.com or click on tamiu.edu



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