UH Book Rentals Picking Up

John Uyeda
John Uyeda
Tricia Ejima
Tricia Ejima

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - On practically every aisle in the University of Hawaii's Campus Center Bookstore, you'll see red and white signs advertising books for rent. It's UH's remedy for the high cost of college textbooks.

"On the average we've seen students paying between $400 to $500 for their text books. So if they're renting their books they could possibly be saving $200, $250 right off the get-go," said Tricia Ejima, branch store manager for the UH system's 8 stores.

The university experimented last year with a handful of books. Now the program has exploded to more than 300 titles and more than 14,000 new and used textbooks.

Students like Finance major John Uyeda are catching on.

"Here's my Business 310 book. I have to take it. I want to rent it," he said.

"This is basically the wave that's been going across the college textbook industry," Ejima said.

The highest priced book on the UH rental list retails for $256 dollars. You can rent it new for $128 or used for $102.

"A lot of the business books, I see they're rentals," Uyeda said. "That's good for me."

UH said the plan is best suited for students who don't keep their textbooks or don't want to a gamble on buying a book that may be out of date next year and un-sellable.

"We want to expand to more titles and more classes for students," Ejima said.

A few years ago the federal government said the cost of college textbooks was rising twice as fast as inflation.

UH is trying to re-write that book.

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