Nebraska Book Co. has launched a new textbook rental program that will allow participating colleges and universities to include the cost of textbooks in the tuition and fees they charge students.
The new program, called BookSmart, will make its debut this fall as a pilot program for freshmen only at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., officials with Neebo, Nebraska Book's parent company, said.
Bundling textbook costs, tuition and fees will streamline the payment process and help reduce students' textbook costs, said Sean O'Brien, area vice president of Neebo Inc.'s College Stores division.
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Students will receive about 50 percent off the average national textbook price, O'Brien said.
At most higher educational institutions, students typically pay tuition and fees, then scramble to find the lowest prices on textbooks or textbook rentals. BookSmart puts an end to those searches and delays in getting materials, O'Brien said.
“Through the cost and time savings of this program, Neebo's BookSmart program will help students get their required course materials in time for the first day of class,” O'Brien said.
Lincoln-based Nebraska Book, one of the nation's largest textbook sellers, hopes to expand the BookSmart program to other colleges and universities.
Here's how it works:
Faculty members choose the textbook through the BookSmart program.
Incoming students pay their tuition, and their textbooks are included in the payment.
When students show up at the campus bookstore, their textbooks will be pulled for them, and they will receive the discounted prices.
At the end of the term, students return the book to the participating bookstore, eliminating shipping costs and other fees.
If a student wants to keep the textbook, he or she tells the store and pays the book's replacement cost.
Nebraska Book Co. was founded in 1915 with a single college store near the University of Nebraska campus and now operates more than 200 stores, serving more than 2 million students at schools nationwide. Each year, the company sells about 6 million textbooks and installs more than 1,600 technology platforms and e-commerce sites at more than 2,500 stores.