WILMINGTON -- College bookstores and saving money typically do not go hand and hand but one UNC System college is trying to change that. Student Sarah Chambers said that she tackles the costly trip to the bookstore after classes start.
"Once all my professors say, now I know this is on the list but you don't really need it," said Chambers.
For the ones she does need, she has some cost saving options. UNC Wilmington's bookstore now has around 1,700 titles available for rent. College officials said that textbook rentals have increased more than 100%. Last year, UNCW students saved more than $800,000.
"Really the only requirement is that it comes back to Barnes and Noble, UNCW's Bookstore in selling condition, no major damage to the cover, that sort of thing," explained Dana Fischetti, a UNCW spokeswoman.
Students can also save money by renting or buying e-textbooks. College officials said that their e-book offering has more than tripled over the last couple of years and students can save up to 60%.
"You're really purchasing the content of the book, there isn't that physical cost of producing a paper book," said Fischetti.
College officials said that their rental and e-book offerings rely on instructors getting their textbook orders in early. They said that this is all part of a system-wide effort to keep the cost of higher education down.
"Students are going to get the best learning experience, when they have the textbook and all the materials to really absorb what the instructor is imparting to them," said Fischetti.
Chambers said that she'll cash in on the savings where ever she can.
"Every little bit helps and books are a lot of bit," joked Chambers.
Renting or buying a book or e-book can all be done online so the college is making an effort to drive students to the bookstore for other reasons. They are working on building up their apparel and gift departments and adding a Starbucks Coffee Shop.