FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 13, 2010
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
MUW students have new textbook options
COLUMBUS, Miss. – When Mississippi University for Women students return to campus this fall, they will have two new options in regard to textbooks, both which will hopefully result in more money in their pockets.
The first option is having an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and price information available online, and the second is the textbook rental program explained Dr. Martin Hatton, MUW interim associate vice president for academic affairs.
An ISBN is a 10-digit number that uniquely identifies books and book-like products published internationally, according to the ISBN website. Its purpose is to establish and identify one title or edition of a title from one specific publisher and is unique to that edition, allowing for more efficient marketing of products by booksellers, libraries, universities, wholesalers and distributors.
“Students can view the textbook information for any course that requires books online via a link from the course schedule to the bookstore,” Hatton said. “A textbook's ISBN identifies that book and is needed when comparing prices.”
The Bookend, the Follett-owned bookstore on MUW's campus, is offering the textbook rental program for the first time.
Helana Allen-Robinson, store manager, said rent a text focuses on affordability and delivers another choice to students in acquiring their course materials. The program also helps students with their textbook expenses and also provides an additional option in production of educational materials students need for their academic growth.
The most popular titles across higher education are available for rent. It is based on a simple rent, read, return model, Allen-Robinson explained, noting that sometimes buying used or a digital version works best for a student.
She added, “The savings for rent a text is phenomenal. For example, if you purchase the Microsoft Office Excel 2007 textbook for BU 160 E01 at our campus bookstore the new price is $117.25 and the used price is $88, but to rent, the price is $52.76. That is more than 50 percent in savings if you would have bought it new.”
Hatton said, “Both of these changes are designed to give students the greatest flexibility in options when selecting course texts. This is all about improving student choices.”
These new options are part of a federal law requiring publishers to provide textbook price information to professors. The new law also asks colleges to identify course textbooks during registration with hopes of giving students more time to shop around.
Dr. Hank M. Bounds, commissioner of higher education, said, "The Board of Trustees and I hope the changes to the textbook adoption policy approved by the Board in February will have a positive impact on our students and their pocketbooks. The changes are designed to make it less expensive for students to purchase textbooks as they begin a course and more profitable for them to sell the books back as they end the course. Our goal is to make college more affordable so that more students will be able to stay in school and graduate."
MUW Student Government Association President Brandon Newsome of Jackson said he was in awe when he first learned about all of the entities involved and their efforts to lower the cost of education for students.
“I'm excited to see the positive outcomes of this by allowing students time to know exactly what they need and give them the option of finding books off campus,” he said. “I believe this shows that they also understand the plight of students and are taking steps to help us.”
As part of its effort to educate students about SGA and the new policy, SGA has planned SGA Week/Textbook Appreciation Week for
Flyers with instructions on how to review course textbooks online will be posted during registration, or visit
Aug. 30-Sept. 3.