Beginning in the fall 2010 semester, Lamar University students will have the option to rent textbooks from the Setzer Student Center Bookstore. The pilot program will allow students to rent new and used books at roughly half the cost of buying them.

The textbook rental program is a joint venture of the Texas State University System Board of Regents and Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, the largest operator of college bookstores in the country with more than 636 campus stores nationwide. The program began earlier this year at 25 campus stores and has expanded to serve more universities, including Lamar.

For many students, textbook costs add up. Based on cost of attendance estimates, the average cost of books ranges from $135 to $260 per class. “If it saves me money, I’m all for it,” said management information systems major Nate Peacock of Beaumont.

Not only will the campus bookstore offer textbooks for rent, students will also be able to rent them online and pay using their CardinalOne debit cards. Like purchased textbooks, students may highlight and make notes in the rented books and may also switch from rental to purchase in the first two weeks of class.

Rented books will be due back 10 days after the last day of finals, and courtesy emails will be sent out near the end of each semester reminding students to return them.

“The program will help students save time and money, and if we can rent online, we won’t have to stand in long lines at the bookstore,” said chemistry major Minh Duong of Orange.

Not all textbooks will be available through the rental program, but Barnes & Noble estimates 30 percent to 35 percent of lower-level course books will be included at 40 percent off the original price of used books and 50 percent off the original price of new books.

Lamar freshman Brooke Roy of Port Neches said the textbook rental option is a great idea and has saved her money for the last two semesters using a similar program at Kampus Korner, an off-campus bookstore that also services Lamar students.

Karla Robinson, manager of Kampus Korner, said any of the books on her shelves that are “flagged and tagged” with red stickers may be rented for half the price of buying them new. The store also offers some upper-level course books, but the selection varies, and the rental program is, for now, only offered in-store, said Robinson.

For more information on textbook rental options at Lamar University, visit the Setzer Student Center Bookstore’s website at, or call Kampus Korner Bookstore at (409) 832-1905.