N.C. college launches textbook rental program

By Wake Technical Community College

Wake Tech Community College students will enjoy a major cost saving this fall: free books.

The announcement comes as the North Carolina college transitions to a new program with its bookstore, Barnes & Noble College. The “Eagle Advantage” pilot program will allow students in degree programs to pay a flat fee to rent their textbooks instead of purchasing each one separately. And when the program launches for the Fall semester, Wake Tech will pick up the tab.

To be eligible for the Free Book Fall promotion, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), regardless of whether they qualify for federal aid. Toolkits and other supplies required for certain courses are not included.

“As important as textbooks are, most students delay purchasing them because of cost, and many avoid purchasing them altogether,” Wake Tech President Scott Ralls said. “That can have a serious impact on their chances of success. We want to give students every advantage, so we’re excited to launch the program – and to offer it free of charge for Fall.”

With Eagle Advantage, all students will receive their print textbooks and lab manuals as well as access to electronic books before the first day of class. Here’s how it works:

  • A student registers for classes.
  • The bookstore prepares their course textbooks in a convenient package.
  • One month before classes start, the student receives an email with instructions for verifying courses and choosing how to receive their books. They can pick the books up at a campus bookstore or have them shipped to their home for a fee.
  • The bookstore notifies the student by email when the order is ready for pickup, or when it ships.
  • At the end of the semester, the student receives instructions for returning their books.

Beginning with the Spring 2024 semester, students in degree programs will be charged a flat fee of $27 per credit hour for Eagle Advantage. At that rate, a full-time student taking 12 credit hours would pay $324 – about 35% to 50% less than if they purchased each book separately. Students must purchase toolkits and other supplies required for certain courses, which are not included in Eagle Advantage.

Students who prefer not to participate can opt out of Eagle Advantage, but those who do participate have the option to purchase their books, at reduced rates, at the end of the semester.

All students in degree programs, including those taking Career & College Promise classes, are included in Eagle Advantage. Non-degree students are not included.

Dozens of other colleges and universities are transitioning to similar book-bundling programs, including UNC-Greensboro, Campbell University and Bladen Community College.

This article was originally posted here.

Wake Technical Community College

is located in Raleigh, North Carolina.