How Many College Students Rent Textbooks in 2013

February 28, 2013

In our survey of 532 college students, taken January – February 2013, we found that 83.6% of college students primarily buy their textbooks (new or used), while 16.4% are renting their textbooks.  This respondent size has an error rate of +-5% as shown by Survey Monkey’s “how many people do I need to take my survey page“. And, based consulting with industry experts at CAMEX, we believe it could be closer to 20% of college students that primarily rent their textbooks in 2013.

How many college students rent their textbooks? Survey results for 2013.

How many college students rent their textbooks? Survey results for 2013.

Of the 87 students that said they primarily rent their textbooks, we asked them where they rent their textbooks. Not surprisingly, Chegg.com was #1. Followed closely by Amazon.com as #2, and their college bookstore as a close third.

Where are students renting their textbooks? Survey results for 2013.

Where are students renting their textbooks? Survey results for 2013.

Then we asked all respondents how likely they are to rent textbooks in the future. A shocking 56.3% of college students are moderately, very, or extremely likely to rent textbooks in the future.

How likely are college students to rent textbooks in the future? Survey results for 2013.

How likely are college students to rent textbooks in the future? Survey results for 2013.

Here are a some additional interesting data points we collected from the survey:

  • Of the students that are primarily renting: Why do you rent instead of buy? 94% said “Cheaper”.
  • Of the students that are primarily renting: What portion of your textbooks are you renting? A majority rent 75% of their textbooks.
  • Of the students that are primarily renting: How long do you rent your textbooks for? 9.5% said 60 days, 28.6% said 90 days, and 61.9% said 125+ days.
  • Of the students that are primarily buying: Where do you buy your college textbooks? #1 was their college bookstore at 63.4%. #2 was Amazon.com at 55.0%. #3 was Half.com at 14.1%.
  • Of the students that are primarily buying: Do you buy used or new? 52.7% buy used whenever possible, 32.7% a mix of used and new, and 14.5% buy new always.
  • Of the students that are primarily buying: Have you rented textbooks before? 65.2% said NO.
  • Of the students that are primarily buying: Why do you buy instead of rent? 58.6% said “More Convenient”.

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