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2018.03.22 Major Publisher to Launch Textbook Rental Service
U.S.-based McGraw-Hill Education last month announced a textbook rental service geared for higher education students in the U.S. At this point, about 250 titles owned by the company falls under the scope of the scheme, and all future titles will also be included. Some of the textbooks are expected to be available this spring. The content will be offered in both paper-based and digital formats. 

Through this service, students will pay up to 70 percent less to access textbooks compared to purchasing them, according to McGraw-Hill Education. Textbooks are often a hefty financial burden. The average cost of a college textbook was $58 in 2011, and this increased to $80 in 2015 ( U.S. college students reportedly spend, on average, anywhere between $1220 and $1420 on textbooks per year.

McGraw-Hill Education has already partnered with Barnes & Noble Education and Chegg for the scheme, and distributor numbers are set to increase. It is believed that many students will sign up for this service, which will be accessible not only from McGraw-Hill Education but directly from textbook distributors as well. 

Cengage Learning (U.S.) also announced in January 2018 that it will introduce a semester-based subscription service where users gain unlimited access to 20,000-plus digital titles owned by the company. If this practice—publishers directly renting out textbooks—takes hold, it will be hugely beneficial not only for students but possibly also for all stakeholders in the field of education.

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