Monday, January 24, 2011

College Secret: Renting Text Books

Some of you know that I have been attending school at Utah Valley University for the past few years in hopes to end up with a degree in something, sometime in the next decade. I only take 1-2 classes per semester and that is part of the problem. With a family, working full time, and having a part time brain that seems to be all I can handle.

College life is expensive. I have noticed that besides tuition and fees of attending school there are a bunch of other money sucking items that are necessary to make continuing your education a reality. Parking passes cost $90, testing fees are $3, even the ATM has a $5.00 fee for withdrawing cash to pay any of these incurred expenses. WHERE ELSE COULD THEY GET AWAY WITH A $5.00 PROCESSING FEE ON AN ATM? The campus police patrol like crazy giving tickets away at 5mph over, but that is a two edged sword of course.

The tuition is getting ridiculous too. A few semesters ago I took math class and paid about $500 with fees for one class which I thought that was pretty high. My wife hasn't been in school for almost 10 years so she is taking a math class as a refresher which isn't even for college credit - $1015!!!! FOR ONE CLASS?!

Two industries I am convinced are scams in America are: 1.) Health Insurance 2.) College Textbooks. The continuous changes of editions are crazy. I had a professor that works for a text book company who told us sometimes they only change some chapters around to make the books different. You buy the book for $150 and get $30 back after you have used it for the semester.

Of course the diploma that is a carrot is dangling front of us is the reason why we spend so much money and put up with so much. Sometimes it gets to be too much to complain and fight a good fight because you eventually realize "Resistance is futile".

I have found a way to save on the textbook part. At the beginning of last semester, while going over the syllabus, the teacher mentioned how much the textbook he will use costs, a girl leaned over to me and told me a key that I want to pass on to everyone - Textbook rentals.

A book that normally would cost you $150 bucks you can rent for $50. Instead of standing in line forever for the "book buy back" guy to offer you $30 and spending $120 total on the book for a semester of use, you only spend $50 and hand it back when you are done. Brilliant! Why hasn't someone thought of this before?

People would take better care of their books if they knew they had to turn it back in after finals. The book store gets more money out of one book as they rent it out more and get more volume profit. This is a "win win", "no brainer", or whatever cliche phrase you want to use. I rented my book today for from Book Xchange in Orem. I would shop around though between them and Boomerang Books in Provo though as you might get a better deal. So there you go students a little tip to keep more coin in your pockets. Now you can go blow it on Apollo Burger hamburgers!

Boom BuksBoomerang Books
748 E 820 N
Provo, Utah 84606
(801) 822-0973

Uvu Book X Change

Book Xchange
45 W. University Parkway
Orem, UT, 84057


  1. AMAZING. thanks for posting this!!

  2. I really like this blog. The BOOK-X-CHANGE in Orem has a website at