WOU awarded funds for a textbook rental program

MONMOUTH – Western Oregon University (WOU) was one of only two four-year public institutions in the United States to be selected to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education to establish a textbook and course material rental program through the WOU Bookstore. WOU received a $999,973 grant for this pilot program, and the university will provide an additional $102,500.

The WOU Financial Aid Office estimates that the average full-time student spends about $1,200 per year for textbooks. This program will be able to provide WOU students with additional cost savings on textbooks for their courses and it serves as a complementary piece to the Western Tuition Promise, which guarantees incoming freshman the same tuition rate for four years. As populations of first-generation and underrepresented minority students continue to flourish on campus, the university has established a number of initiatives and programs like these to keep costs manageable and transparent for students.

“I am delighted that WOU has been successful in its grant application,” said Mark Lane, bookstore manager. “The WOU Bookstore is run for our students, and looks forward to helping the institution roll out a sustainable rental program. The grant award is the result of positive work between the Bookstore, faculty, staff and students is the next step in the Bookstore’s long term development.”

According to Dave McDonald, Associate Provost, “The textbook rental program will enable students to save a significant amount of money by being able to rent text books for their courses at less than half the price of purchasing those same books. This opportunity is a wonderful complement to the many efforts of the bookstore and the faculty to keep the costs of text books as low as possible.”

The WOU Bookstore is the students’ revenue-neutral, institutionally-owned campus store. Over the past three years, the Bookstore has increased the amount of money paid to students during buyback by over 30 percent and increased its inventory of used texts by almost 35 percent. Last year, the Bookstore formed a new committee with the student government, and rolled out its e-book program this fall as a greener, lower-cost alternative.

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interview contact

David McDonald
Associate Provost
503-838-8919 or

Mark Lane
WOU Bookstore manager
503-838-8664 or

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