Bill Would Establish Textbook Rental Programs
TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner (D – Mercer, Hunterdon) that would help ease the cost of higher education by establishing textbook rental programs has cleared the Senate.
The bill, S1369, would authorize public institutions of higher education to establish a textbook rental program for the students at each of the institution’s campuses. Under the bill, for any rental program established the average annual textbook rental cost for full-time students could not exceed 50% of the average annual retail purchase cost of textbooks for full-time students. The program would not limit the rights of faculty to select appropriate texts in accordance with established campus policies and procedures.
“The prices that are charged for textbooks are, frankly, outrageous. Students should not be required to purchase books at excruciatingly high prices when it is part of their learning curriculum. A rental program can help ease the pain while at the same time not interfering with how teachers and professors instruct their course,” said Turner.
As the tuition costs of attending public institutions of higher education continues to increase, many New Jersey students and their families find it difficult to afford the textbooks that students are required to purchase for college courses. As it is critical that each student have access to all required textbooks, the establishment of textbook rental programs would help promote equity and opportunity for all students while providing a viable economic alternative to the high costs of purchasing textbooks that they will not need or use again.
The bill now heads to the Assembly.