The Direct Network

The Rental Reference

Posted by Liz Schulte on Oct 17, 2017 5:30:00 AM
Topics: online bookstore, course materials, rental

Rentals offer students upfront savings on their course materials, but not all rental programs are created equal. It is important to make sure you find the right rental program that meets your school’s individual needs.

The Rental Reference

If you are still undecided about whether or not rental is right for your school, here are some factors to consider:

Cost savings

Many students treat course materials as an optional expense, finding a way to save on the initial cost can be the difference between a student’s success and a student’s semester-long struggle to keep up. Academics and finances are two common reasons why students drop out of school. With rentals, you can ensure students have the materials they need and offer the upfront cost-savings students hope to find.

Rental provide students substantial savings. In a recent study, 55% of students choose to rent at least some of their course materials. Once the semester is over, they return their books. It’s an easy, convenient option for students who are worried about finances.


Students like to shop online because they have multiple options at their fingertips. Consider partnering with a company that can provide an online bookstore and 24-hour customer service. The more choices a student has before them, the more likely they are to find an option that fits their budgetary needs. By offering new, used, rental, eBooks and marketplace options, students can compare prices easily and conveniently. By partnering with a company that can offer a larger variety of rental titles, your school can be in the position to provide the choices students want.  


When your school decides to include rentals in your course materials line up, make sure the students are aware of the option by sending an email and hanging flyers. First-year and first-generation students end up paying more for their course materials than any other group. Reaching out to these students and making sure they fully understand their course materials options early on in their college career can help build trust between the student and the school.


Course materials partners can widely differ in the services they provide. One-size-fits-most models aren’t nearly as beneficial to students as partnering with a company that customizes course term dates. Preset rental terms might not fit your school's schedule. However, a customizable plan allows students to have their books through the end of the semester with plenty of time to return them after finals.

Rentals are just another tool you can use to provide your students with a great education without straining their finances.

Choose the Right Course Material Provider 

About Liz Schulte

Liz Schulte is an author and business owner with a background in customer service, marketing and higher education development.

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