Ivy Tech Community College Makes Textbooks More Affordable With Rental Program

INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College today announced that its bookstores will offer Rent-A-Text, a textbook cost-saving program starting Fall 2010.

Rent-A-Text takes aim at cost-savings, offering savings of 50 percent or more compared to the purchasing of new textbooks. The Rent-A-Text program will be available for approximately 20 percent of textbook titles in the first year.

Ivy Tech Community College bookstores estimate that students will save more than $40 million compared to new book prices over the next five academic years through both Rent-A-Text and the expanded used book offering.

“Combining rental with a concentrated effort to impact other variables on course materials has the potential for huge savings to student pockets. Just last year, the Ivy Tech bookstores saved students over $2 million through used book offerings and end-of-term buyback. With Rent-A-Text and concentrated, joint efforts directly on our campuses, we’re looking to double, possibly triple that savings number to students in the next year,” said Thomas J. Snyder, President of Ivy Tech Community College.

The new program was made possible through a partnership with Follett Higher Education Group. The expansion of Rent-A-Text is based on Follett’s pilot program with seven schools across the country, including the University of North Texas, University of Texas-Arlington and Grand Rapids (MI) Community College. In the first semester, students saved more than $2 million on the cost of course materials. More importantly, 90 percent of students surveyed in the pilot expressed satisfaction with the pilot program – having a more positive perception of the campus bookstores.

“We’re very pleased to offer rental to the students at Ivy Tech, but rental is just one of the strategies we have in place to make a large-scale impact on affordability,” said Snyder. “Follett had tremendous success in their pilot program, saving students millions of dollars in just a handful of stores. We’re excited to apply those trends and savings to the bookstores across our 23 Ivy Tech campuses.”

“Follett has been at the forefront of cost-savings programs for more than a century,” said Thomas A. Christopher, President of Follett Higher Education Group. “Helping to reduce the costs of higher education is part of our mission and we look forward to working with Ivy Tech to deliver substantial savings to students.”

The addition of rental is just one piece to the overarching strategy to impact affordability. In addition, Ivy Tech Community College and Follett will work together to drive timely faculty adoptions and refine course material choices from both faculty and their respective departments which will further impact used book availability and course material affordability in Ivy Tech bookstores.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community college system with more than 150,000 students enrolled annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

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