New way to save money on college textbooks

Students at St. Johns River Community College will have the option to either purchase or rent their textbooks; according to grant development director Carla Shows in an announcement received by Historic City News today.

“Many new students do not realize that the cost of textbooks can add substantially to their overall expenses,” Shows said. “With the cost of a single textbook averaging $120, this program will offer a unique savings solution to our students.”

St. Johns River Community College was one of 12 colleges out of 60 applicants selected to develop a textbook rental program; planned to be in place next fall.

The nearly $1 million grant will be awarded in November to research, develop and implement the program at all three campus bookstores.

“Over the course of the two-year grant, the program aims to reduce the costs of obtaining student textbooks by approximately 60 percent,” said Al Little, St. Johns River Community College’s vice president for business affairs. “The grant calls for the College to implement a pilot program for the fall 2011 semester, with full implementation in the fall of 2012.”

Little added that upon completion of the grant project, the College will present a model of the program at regional and national conferences.

The U.S. Department of Education FIPSE grant (Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education) includes funding for a full-time position to oversee the book rental process, minor renovations to properly segregate inventory and the initial inventory of the rental books.

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s FIPSE Web site, the grants are highly competitive and often have national significance for postsecondary institutions.

Photo credits: © 2010 Historic City News staff photographer

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