Ready for book rental

Greatly anticipated full textbook rental program to launch this summer


Abbey Miskimen/ Clarion

The Truax Bookstore is getting ready for college’s new text rental program, which will launch this summer.

Catherine Larsen, Staff Writer

About a decade ago, students began discussing the extremely high cost of textbooks and the idea of a textbook rental program. During the fall semester of 2017 President Dr. Daniels charged the Student Affairs Council to begin working on this initiative. Once the ball started rolling, it couldn’t be stopped.

The full textbook rental program has come to fruition and roll out this summer. Yes, it’s official, but there are a few things you should know before it begins.

Madison College students will be charged $7 per degree credit based on a student-wide referendum passed beginning spring 2019. So instead of buying your books, renting them on Amazon, purchasing them from the Bookstore, or using your book charge that comes out of financial aid, you won’t have to pay a dime past what is already charged in student fees already included in your tuition.

The rental process works similarly to the way it would if you were to purchase your textbooks from the Bookstore. Imagine this: you go to the Truax Bookstore and wait in line with your OneCard. A staff member will take your OneCard (or other form of identification), scan it, and the textbooks for your classes will pull up on a screen that indicates to staff everything they need to know to streamline students through the process.

The textbook rental program can be accessed through the Bookstore’s website as well as in person. You can have the textbooks shipped to your local campus at no cost, or you can have them shipped to your house for a cost ranging between $5-$20.

There is an “opt-out” process that allows students to purchase textbooks on their own accord, and the $7 per credit fee would be waived. This comes at a risk, however. Once students opt-out, there is no way to opt back in. It’s not as if you can skip paying the segregated fees for one semester and then utilize the rental program the following semester. Students are strongly encouraged to contact the Bookstore to discuss rental and/or purchasing options. Ben Monty, the Senior Budget and Policy Analysis in the Budget Office, points out additionally that refund of the textbook rental fee is based on Madison College’s drop policy, and if students drop a class, they must return the textbook to avoid being charged.

It is also an option to purchase your textbook after renting it. If you choose to do so, all you have to do is stop into the Bookstore and they will determine the new market value based on its deprecitation.

Holly Deering, the Textbook Rental Program Analyst, strongly advises students to take advantage of the program, and calls the textbook rental program a “change in Madison College culture.” Deering said the Textbook Affordability Committee and other working parts of the textbook rental program met with most departments on campus looking for the best solution for students, instructors, and the overall department. These conversations, at times, led to the addition of textbooks that hadn’t before been considered as they may have been too expensive of an option before the rental program.

There are some things that can’t be covered under the rental program such as lab manuals, kits, and access codes. However, the Textbook Affordability Committee is currently working on ways to reduce the prices of these one-time access codes.

One thing that Deering and Monty, a member of the Textbook Affordability Committee, would like to caution students is in returning their textbooks. Each student will be responsible for returning the textbooks linked to their OneCard and failure to do so may lead to late fees and/or full charges.

Textbooks are due five business days after the last day of classes. You can return your textbooks to the main Truax Bookstore, otherwise there will be a return box at each Madison College campus. If you choose to ship your textbook, shipping labels must be dated by the last day of finals week. Students will be given a 5-day grace period for returning their book(s), but after 8 business days there will be late fees charged to your student account. Anything past that, the total replacement cost of the book(s) will be charged to your student account.

This new textbook rental program has many facets and will certainly serve as a learning curve for students and faculty and staff alike. Questions or concerns should be directed to the Madison College Bookstore by emailing [email protected] or calling 608-246-6016. Students can also visit their website at  to order books and to see the full version of the Student Textbook Rental Policies and Procedures.