Tag Archives: textbooks

The Surprising Economic Impact of Renting VS. Buying (Infographic)

Filed under: Education - BookRenter Team
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That’s $101 Million In Your Pockets

Filed under: Company Updates - BookRenter Team
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By VP of Business Development and Founder Colin Barceloux
Colin has a BS in Management Information Systems and a Minor in Information Technology from Santa Clara University where he graduated with Honors in 2003. Colin resides in San Francisco and is an avid snowboarder, basketball enthusiast, mountain biker, and golfer.

Today, we announced that BookRenter has saved students over $101 million dollars off the cost of textbooks. This is not only a special day for BookRenter, but also for me personally. When I started BookRenter I hoped that we’d reach a point where we would help so many students afford school, but now I can see this is really just the beginning. I got the idea to start BookRenter when I was a college student at Santa Clara University. Like students today, I was extremely frustrated with the high cost of textbooks. While at school, I worked three part-time jobs to help cover my out of pocket expenses, and textbooks were always the largest. The more I thought about it, the more I realized the status quo – buying textbooks and selling them back – is just a really expensive rental. When I started BookRenter, textbook rental was a new thing and today thanks in large part to BookRenter, rentals are fast becoming the preferred method for getting course materials.

From the very beginning, our mission at BookRenter has been to make education more affordable. After tuition, textbooks are the largest educational expense. Course materials cost on average $1,137 per year (College Board); that is a staggering number. For the millions of people attending community college, that averages about 40% of the annual cost of education. By renting textbooks, students can save up to 80%– that’s about $500 per year depending on what you study. When you start to apply that savings across the student population of the US, the result is tremendous. And for students scraping by on loans and grants to get through school, the impact of textbook rental takes on a whole new meaning. We created this picture to help people see how huge textbook rental can be. It makes us realize that $101 million is really just the beginning; $172 billion, here we come.

The Surprising Economic Impact of Renting VS. Buying (Infographic)

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The Top 5 Things Every College Freshman Should Know

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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Like, don’t take “no” for an answer, don’t change yourself just to fit in, and – oh, yeah – call your parents.

by Guest Blogger Serena Piper / check out her last post on the coolest backpacks ever

We all know the traditional advice often doled out to those who are college-bound: take a tour of campus before school starts so you know where your classes will be; allow plenty of studying time so you aren’t pulling all-nighters before a big deadline; join a club or two; make new friends – the list goes on.

But when it comes to my own experience, this list leaves something to be desired. Here are the top five things I wish someone had told me before I started my freshman year.

1. Start off slowly. Some students think they absolutely have to start out their first year taking 16 credits or they’ll fall behind and not graduate on time. This is a myth. It’s perfectly okay to take fewer credits your first term. It gives you time to adjust to your new routine, get a feel for how things are done at the college level, and make some new friends. I suggest taking at least two classes just so you can see how you’ll manage your time, especially if you know you’ll have a part-time job or other commitments during the school year. But definitely don’t overwhelm yourself your first term.

by University of Innsbruck

2. Don’t take no for an answer. For example, if you don’t get into a class you want right away, talk to the professor, get on the waitlist, and find out when it will be offered again. Just because a class is full when you go to register for it doesn’t mean that’s the final word. Show that you’re interested because the more effort you put in, the more you’ll get back.

3. Rent your textbooks instead of buying them. Students generally buy their textbooks from the campus bookstore, but it’s often easier and definitely cheaper to rent your books (hello, BookRenter!). Paying big bucks for a book that I couldn’t sell back at the end of the term? Been there, done that, too many times – and I have a pile of textbooks I’ll never need again to show for it.

by Thai Nguyen

4. When it’s party time, keep your head on straight (and don’t let a future employer catch you out on Facebook). It may be a stereotype, but students like to party, and there can be a lot of pressure to drink in college. If you know drinking’s not for you, don’t waste your time trying to change yourself so that you fit in. There are plenty of other things to do on the weekends, like playing ultimate frisbee in the dark, taking a day trip to a nearby city, or doing an art project with your roommates. If you do like to drink when you go out, be safe. For example, many colleges offer a late-night campus shuttle service so that no one has to drive home drunk. Whether you drink when you go out or not, though, keep your head on straight. You don’t want a potential employer or grad school admissions officer to stumble on any crazy Facebook photos three or four years from now.

5. Call your parents. Yes, even if you aren’t homesick. Parents can give you a different perspective on things and remind you of where your focus should be. They know you in a way that no one else ever will, and when you’re away at school, this can be very comforting. Not only did I call my mom when I was homesick, but I also called her when I was feeling ill and needed some OJ, or when I wanted to know how long I should broil the acorn squash I was fixing for dinner. Just don’t let all their advice get to you. There are still times when I feel like I have to do what my mom or dad suggests, but later, when I do things my way, everything turns out just fine.

It’s normal to feel a little anxious about starting college. Take things one day at a time and give yourself time to adjust. Besides, whatever you don’t figure out beforehand, you’ll learn on your own, and someday it will make for a great story!

We value the diverse voices and fresh ideas that our guest bloggers bring to BookRenter.com. However, the ideas and opinions expressed in guest posts are strictly those of the post’s author and don’t necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of BookRenter.Com. The information in guest posts is often drawn from a variety of sources, and we count on our guest authors to verify and fact-check the content they post. BookRenter.Com makes no claims, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of guest post content or the suitability of the content for a specific purpose.

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The Reality of Making Education More Affordable

Filed under: Notes from an Entrepreneur, Post Grad and Career - BookRenter Team
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By VP of Business Development and Founder Colin Barceloux
Colin has a BS in Management Information Systems and a Minor in Information Technology from Santa Clara University where he graduated with Honors in 2003. Colin resides in San Francisco and is an avid snowboarder, basketball enthusiast, mountain biker, and golfer.

Hi, everyone! Just popping into the blog because I wanted to share a chance encounter I had with one of our customers. Last week after work, as I was going to the gym, I was stopped by the front desk worker who noticed my BookRenter.com polo shirt.

She asked if I worked at BookRenter, and I said I did. Immediately she practically hugged me and said how much she loved our company, and if it was not for BookRenter, she would have had to drop out of San Francisco State. She said that recently they raised tuition, and the money she saved renting books went to pay for the cost increase. She was the type of student who I could tell was working a couple of side jobs to pay for school, and using BookRenter had lifted such a tremendous burden on her life. I thanked for her business as she was tearing up.

We push ourselves every day to make a difference in students’ lives and to make education more affordable. The $60 million we have saved students so far is not just a number on our website, but also a reflection of the positive impact we are making on society.

Thank you for allowing us to serve you. If you have a story you’d like to share, we’d love to hear it in the comments.

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Textbooks and Taxes

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By BookRenter Andy

by Bohman


Tax day (April 18th) is approaching quickly; we all know how confusing and stressful tax time can be.  To help you get started for the arduous task of filing your taxes we thought we could help you out, by letting you know about a couple of possible credits as a student (or a parent filing for your student) you might be able to take advantage of.

The American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning credit are both available to students (or a parent filing for your student).

American Opportunity Tax Credit

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), textbook and other course material expenses incurred in 2009 through 2012 that are not covered by scholarship or grant aid may be counted towards the tax credit called the American Opportunity Tax Credit on that respective year’s tax return.

Lifetime Learning Credit

The Lifetime Learning Credit may be claimed for the qualified tuition and related expenses of the students in the taxpayer’s family (i.e., the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or an eligible dependent) who are enrolled in eligible educational institutions.

According to the Treasury Department, over 4.5 million families received the AOTC credit in 2009 at an average of $1,700. So make sure you’re receiving what you’re owed!

Important: if you rented or purchased your textbooks from BookRenter, or any other online store, you’ll need to file for the American Opportunity Tax Credit.  With the Lifetime Learning Credit, textbook and course material fees not paid directly to the school/institution do not count as qualified expenses. The AOTC is not available to all students though – you must be pursuing an educational credit of some sort.

To read more about these savings opportunities check out The National Association of College Stores, or NACS, website dedicated to helping you, the students, figure out exactly if and how to write-off education expenses when you file your taxes. Here it is: http://www.textbookaid.org/.

Check it out and make sure you file correctly for 2010. Make sure to hold on to your receipts so you can claim the right amount as expenses!

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