Textbook Rental Firm Chegg Raises $75 Million More | paidContent

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Already heavily-backed textbook rental firm Chegg has added another $75 million. The company’s service, which lets students rent textbooks so they don’t have to buy them, has gained a big following on college campuses. One outside estimate puts the company’s sales this year at $130 million, up from $25 million in 2009. That growth has forced the two top college bookstore operators in the U.S., Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) and Follett Higher Education Group, to launch their own competing textbook rental services.

Chegg most recently raised $112 million in debt and equity funding round last fall. This investment—which comes from a Hong Kong-based investment firm called Ace Limited, according to a report in AllThingsD, brings Chegg’s total funding to more than $200 million.

Chegg is led by former Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) COO Dan Rosensweig, who the company hired away from Activision (NSDQ: ATVI) last year.

Textbook Rental Firm Chegg Raises $75 Million More | paidContent.

Save money: Rent your textbooks instead – The Anchor – News

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Each semester, college students across the country spend hundreds of dollars for classroom textbooks that are only useful for those four months. The discouraging pattern is common at every school, private and state schools included. There is a smarter way to acquire the necessary textbooks, but the books must be kept in good condition and returned after use.

Renting textbooks is the latest phenomenon sweeping colleges across the nation. It is an alternative to buying costly textbooks at local bookstores.

At Rhode Island College, book renting is available online through the Web site bookrenter.com, which caters to 260 colleges across the nation. The book is ordered at the beginning of the semester, and it must be returned once the class is completed.

The process is simple and it saves students a substantial amount of money.

The amount varies according to the textbook, but it is usually significant. For example, one college text is “Thinking Mathematically” by Robert Blitzer, a required text book for Math 139. The 2010 edition costs $140.75, which can be more than a college student’s weekly paycheck. However, renting the same exact book on Bookrenter will only cost $61.35, saving a student $79.

read more: Save money: Rent your textbooks instead – The Anchor – News.

Editorial: Textbook rentals a quick fix, but don’t do enough – Canandaigua, NY – MPNnow

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Sen. Charles Schumer recently urged the National Association of College Stores to encourage its members to expand textbook rental programs. He hailed it as a way to save students money, and the association called the move “a great leap forward.”

Renting textbooks would indeed help lower the high cost of college reading materials, especially for elective courses or specialty classes where the book would be needed only for a semester. And having a rental system in place, overseen by the bookstore, would allow students to save money upfront. Selling books back to a store or to other students is a gamble — and sometimes isn’t an option at all, if the text isn’t being used the next semester.

It is all well and good that Schumer turned the spotlight on the fact that textbook costs are becoming astronomical — and to some, unaffordable. But his solution sidesteps the problem rather than tackling it head-on. It doesn’t hold the publishers or booksellers responsible for the price hikes each semester, and it doesn’t stop the constant reissuing of textbook editions for minor revisions (making the resale of such texts less attractive).

Discouraging such practices could save students more money than any rental service.

Read more: Editorial: Textbook rentals a quick fix, but don’t do enough – Canandaigua, NY – MPNnow.