The key to saving on texbooks : downloading


Buying multiple textbooks can be worse than paying tuition for some students. In some cases, the amount students pay out-of-pocket for books is equivalent to the total cost for the semester. However, e-readers, such as the Kindle, and tablets, such as the iPad, are giving students a more affordable option when it comes to buying textbooks.
“All of my textbooks are in one place — I can access my homework faster,” Joe Batzer, junior Webster University computer science major, said. “For a computer science book, I paid $52 compared to the bookstore, which is $132.”
Webster University’s Bookstore is making its best effort to accompany the need of the students. According to Follett Higher Education Group, two thirds of students prefer digital textbooks rather than print textbooks. Webster offers students digital textbooks through a platform called CafeScribe.
“Follett’s CafeScribe digital platform saves students 40-60 percent, compared to the price of a new textbook, while also providing an assortment of tools to help students study smarter and more efficiently” Haleigh Morgan, public and campus relations specialist of Follet Higher Education Group, said.
CafeScribe promotes flexibility between devices to decrease limitations for students. Students are able to search, take notes and highlight through their device. There are applications available for tablets, smart phones and laptops, which are available through the Apple Store and Android.
Holly Hubenshmidt, head of instructural services at Webster, said there are 30,000 e-books in the library available to anyone who has a device that can download them.
However, e-readers, tablets and mobile devices may not satisfy the classic book advocate. There are still students who prefer to use printed textbooks rather than digital. Follet offers a Rent-A-Text program that allows students to rent their textbooks instead of purchasing them.
“Follet’s Rent-A-Text program offers savings of, on average, 50 percent or more, compared to purchasing new without sacrificing the ability to highlight or take notes — all within the normal wear and tear associated with coursework,” Morgan said. “Rent-A-Text is expected to save students more than $200 million during the 2011-2012 academic year alone.”

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