Book prices

Listed are the course numbers and rent prices for books.

BCOR 1010 ; $52.80

BCOR 3010 ; $72.60

CHEM 1113 ; $95

CSCI 2270 ; $67.50

CVEN 3161 ; $99

CVEN 3246 ; $88

ECEN 1030 ; $48

ECEN 3250 ; $67.50

ECEN 3300 ; $87.50

FNCE 4000 ; $101.75

FNCE 4040 ; $106.75

MGMT 4010 ; $102


Pencils, caffeine and textbooks are only a fraction of the expense of starting another college semester, but students at the University of Colorado may be seeing some early savings this semester.

The CU Book Store has started a trial textbook renting program to help steer students away from hefty book prices.

Pamela Mills, director of the CU Book Store, said the rental program is just another effort to lessen the financial burdens of costly textbooks.

"We are always looking for ways to make course material cheaper for students," Mills said. "We are constantly trying to find digital copies of books or cheaper versions or encouraging faculty to stay with a previous edition, as long as it doesn't take away from the course content."

The CU Book Store is offering 12 titles for rent during the spring semester with hopes of increasing the inventory in the fall. These textbooks can still be purchased new or used but will have the added option of renting with a signed agreement to return the book in good condition before graduation.

The 12 titles will give more than 1,500 CU students another option that would cut the cost of at least one of their textbooks. The 12 titles purchased as new books range from $86.75 to $194, and the rental prices range from $48 to $106.75 per semester.

Textbook rentals are available for some business, computer science and engineering classes this semester. And the CU Book Store is not the only place students can rent their books.

CU sophomore Jake Bolling saved nearly $400 using an online textbook renting service, Chegg.com. With the click of a mouse, Bollings said he rented seven textbooks online for only $220 -- compared to the school bookstore price of $600.

"In addition to saving an absurd amount of money ... you can still write and highlight in them the same as if you owned them," Bolling said.

Bolling said he is glad the university bookstore is getting on board and expects that students will take advantage of the benefits.

Renting textbooks has been an option online for years, but Bolling said many students don't know where to go or how much money it can save them. But not all CU students are oblivious to this growing trend.

CU students have saved more than $100,000 during the past five semesters using Chegg.com, according to its spokeswoman, Angela Pontarolo. Chegg.com has rented nearly 1,600 books to CU students since the company opened in 2007, not to mention other sites such as Bookrenter.com and Campusgrotto.com.

CU Book Store has now caught up with the trend.

"Students look to their university bookstore for peace of mind, for the comfort of knowing they have the right edition and the right volume of the right book," said Mills, the CU Book Store director. "We have had several students come into the bookstore with the wrong book they bought online and the personal interaction at the bookstore eliminates that frustration."

The Colorado Bookstore on the Hill is also renting a select number of textbooks this semester as a trial run, but would not disclose which titles were available to rent.

Store manager Bryan Elmer said the store is expecting to expand its rental inventory in the near future, possibly in August, but until then students should keep bargain shopping for the best prices.

"We've been (renting) books for 30 years," Elmer said. "It's practically the same thing as before, because a student who buys a book for $100 and sells it back at the end of the semester for $50 is essentially paying only $50 for the book."