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Textbook Rental

Textbook Rental Policy - 1P1

  1. Purpose

    The Textbook Rental policy provides guidelines to ensure financial solvency of the textbook rental program and to keep students' fees affordable.

    1. Provision of Textbooks

      1. Each semester academic departments will inform Textbook Service (TBS) of the textbooks required for rental for the following semester not later than the dates specified (refer to Section I.B.3.). Textbook Service will provide to academic departments a listing by course of the textbooks currently in adoption.
      2. Departments are encouraged to consider the cost and usage of their textbooks as this directly impacts student fees.
      3. Schools or colleges and departments are assigned the responsibility to plan with Textbook Service and The Cougar Store to ensure materials are requested with sufficient lead time and that costs receive the consideration required.
      4. Schools or colleges and departments are responsible to ensure the materials requested will actually be used for class. If this is not the case, the materials should not be requested.
      5. Textbook Service is committed to providing the correct course materials on hand for each student. Comments, suggestions or service complaints may be forwarded to the Assistant Director for Textbook Service or the Director of the Morris University Center.

        1. Textbook orders will be placed not later than dates specified (refer to Section I.B.3.) so textbooks arrive on or by the start of classes, unless circumstances beyond the control of Textbook Service staff occur, such as late adoptions, or changes, large enrollment increases just before the start of classes, or publishers notifying Textbook Service the title is out of stock or out of print.

          1. If enrollment increases, Textbook Service staff will order additional textbooks immediately upon being notified by the department to ensure each student has a textbook.
          2. If textbook is out of print, the faculty member adopting the textbook will be notified immediately.  Textbook Service is unable to order out of print titles.  If there are not enough copies for all students in the class, the rental adoption must be changed. If changing the textbook is necessary, the faculty member will be notified of alternatives to the adopted textbook. Once a substitute textbook is ordered Textbook Service staff will place a rush order and notify faculty when textbook arrives.
    2. Textbook Adoption

      1. Textbook Orders and Adoption

        1. For each course offered by each department, a maximum of either two (2) new texts, or multiple texts equal to or less than the national average retail price per course according to the National Association of College Stores (NACS) may be adopted through Textbook Service. One of the two may be a digital access code or eBook. Exceptions require a justification by instructor and review, approval and signature of the dean. Each book will be in adoption for a minimum of three (3) years or nine (9) terms. Books for certain Nursing, Pharmacy and technology or computer related courses may be in adoption for two (2) years or six (6) terms.  Additional exceptions may be made with approval of Assistant Director for Textbook Service.
        2. When a new adoption is submitted, previous adoptions will be removed from inventory. Only currently adopted textbooks will be ordered.
          1. Textbook Service will not revert back to an older version of a textbook after a newer edition has been adopted. Once adopted by a department, Faculty must adjust to new editions of textbooks.
        3. Any special communication or agreement between the instructor and a publisher representative regarding the department placing of a textbook order, including but not limited to pricing, custom publishing, bundling or digital materials, will need to be submitted to Textbook Service for approval.
        4. Academic departments should fully utilize the current adopted textbook and not replace a textbook each time a new edition is released. Currently adopted textbooks are retained beyond the minimum adoption time period until one of the following occurs.

          1. Current textbook is out of print or obtaining additional new or used copies is difficult and cost prohibitive.
          2. Textbook has not been utilized for any class in the last three years.
          3. Academic department requests the textbook be deleted from inventory.
          4. Course or course number requirement has been changed or deleted.
        5. Academic departments and instructors are responsible for researching their textbook requests and for supplying accurate information including the following:

          1. Title, author, publisher/distributor, edition, binding/product type, International Standard Book Number (ISBN), course and section numbers, and instructor's name
        6. The instructor and academic department indicate their intention to utilize a textbook by their signatures and submission of departmental textbook orders.
        7. Multiple sections of a course require the instructor to indicate, per section, which textbook(s) will be assigned to each section. A new book request must indicate which section(s) will or will not be requiring the new textbook.
        8. If a new textbook is ordered, processed and not utilized for all of the sections indicated on the order, the academic department will be responsible for the costs of returning the excess inventory and/or for reimbursing Textbook Service for the cost of the unused textbooks.
        9. If there is not a rental textbook required for a course, the department should so indicate on the textbook order form. It is not mandatory for a textbook to be ordered for a course. However, Textbook Service needs to know so they can inform students there are no books required. Due to HEOA (Higher Education Opportunity Act) regulations, Textbook Service and The Cougar Store are required to provide course materials information in advance of the start of each semester.
        10. Requests for course materials which are ineligible, out of print or unavailable will be returned to the academic department with explanation by Textbook Service (i.e. annual editions, texts designed for a single semester such as consumable materials, custom course packs, workbooks (both digital and physical), solutions manuals, texts for special topics and seminar classes, texts for experimental courses offered one time, unbound textbooks (including spiral bound or loose leaf books), etc.). If required for the course the above materials must be ordered through The Cougar Store for purchase by students.
          1. Special topics courses are defined as those courses only offered one (1) semester and do not follow the standard three (3) year/nine (9) semester textbook adoption. Seminar classes that will only be offered in that form once in a three-year period are not eligible. Seminar classes that conform to the policy are eligible.
        11. The academic department chair is responsible for the completion, signing and submission of their departmental textbook orders.
        12. Lecturers will work with supervisors on adoption of textbooks.
        13. Requests for exceptions must be submitted with a letter of justification sent to the academic chair and dean for approval and signature. Requests will be considered by Textbook Service on a case-by-case basis.
        14. Textbook Service will not issue any book that it cannot own. (Examples, but not limited to: Pearson and McGraw-Hill rental texts, etc.).
        15. A faculty member cannot choose to adopt a different textbook once a Chair orders the same textbook for all sections of a course.
        16. Textbook Service will not pay for products that are not ordered by Textbook Service staff or on a TBS purchase order. If a faculty order books/materials on their own, they are responsible for payment of these materials.
        17. All required textbooks that are eligible for the textbook rental program are to be made available through textbook rental as requested by the academic departments.
          1. Exceptions to the use of textbook rental for graduate-level courses, require the approval of the relevant dean and the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. An approved exception does not affect the fees students pay.
      2. Reduction of Inventory, Books Not Used in Three Years, Obsolete Textbooks

        1. Textbook Service will provide to the academic departments a list of books not used in the past three or more years. If the department chooses to keep the textbook, they will provide justification and advise when the textbook will next be assigned and the expected dates of use. The information must be returned to Textbook Service by that semester's textbook order deadline. If the information is not returned by the deadline or there is no response, the textbook will be removed from inventory. Excess inventory of a textbook where enrollment numbers have decreased or the class is no longer taught will also be removed from inventory.
      3. Deadlines for Textbook Orders

        1. In order to meet HEOA requirements for reporting and publisher/sourcing lead times, the following deadlines are established for textbook orders:

          1. Fall Semester - April 1
          2. Spring Semester - October 1
          3. Summer Semester - March 1
        2. Textbook orders submitted after the due date are not guaranteed to arrive by the start of classes and must be sent through the dean's office for approval and signature.
      4. Changes to Book Orders

        1. Changes to book orders include new book orders, adding or deleting sections/textbooks not previously requested, switching of sections and instructors, increasing enrollment (i.e. adding waitlisted students), after the textbook deadline.
        2. Once the textbook orders have been submitted, any change will require a letter of justification be sent through the department chair and the dean for approvals and signatures.
        3. Academic departments are responsible for notifying Textbook Service immediately upon any change made that affects the assigned text or number of texts required for a course, or when a section or sections and the instructor assigned are switched resulting in changes to the text requirements for the course and/or section.
        4. There is a negative direct impact on students when the number of textbooks available is inadequate due to changes made without notifying Textbook Service.
        5. If text or book requests are changed after Textbook Service has placed and/or received the textbook order from the publisher or distributor, the academic department will be responsible for all direct costs.
        6. If a textbook request is submitted in error or with incorrect ordering information supplied to Textbook Service, the academic department will be assessed a fee to reclaim, clean and return the textbooks.  If the labels cannot be removed to enable return of the books, the academic department will be assessed a fee to offset the cost of the non-returnable materials.
        7. Changes to textbook orders after the deadline will be permitted without penalty on a case-by-case basis (i.e. resignation of instructor, death or health related issue of instructor, class cancelled and notification made immediately, change made by enrollment or academic offices).
      5. Digital Course Materials

        1. Requests for digital access codes, digital course materials or other online learning environments ordered individually or included with a physical textbook will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  When possible, arrangements will be made for digital materials to be provided through the course's Blackboard shell.  Textbook Service will request input on the pros and cons of the request from the academic department, Assistant Director for Textbook Service and The Cougar Store, University Center Director, University Center Business Manager and the University’s ITS department.  The cost of supplying the codes or online content, a price guarantee during the entire adoption time period and the financial impact on student fees will be considered.  The terms of a written adoption agreement will be negotiated by Textbook Service.  Until then, the adoption will not be accepted.
      6. New Textbook Bundle/Package, Digital or Custom Book Orders

        1. Factors to consider when ordering a textbook or textbook package:

          1. Price of text or package
          2. Extent to which you will use the text in your class
          3. Extent to which assignments are based on the text
          4. Degree to which your exams, test materials will be based on the text
          5. If an actual text is required for your section of the class
          6. If no text is required, no book order should be placed
          7. Extent to which you will or will not use all the components in the package or if the text alone will suffice
          8. If the component pieces are available to be purchased separately
        2. Ordering a bundle or package will require the following:

          1. Provide the ISBN, publisher, indicate what comprises the bundle or custom package
          2. Fill out the Bundle/Package order form 
          3. Obtain information from publisher representative
          4. Obtain signatures of all instructors who will be using the package, indicating section numbers.  The signature of the instructor signifies that the instructor intends to utilize the pieces of the package ordered.
        3. If some pieces of the bundle/package are not used for the course or section, the academic department will bear a portion of the shipping costs associated with returning any unused pieces.  If the publisher will not allow return of the unused pieces, the academic department will be charged the cost of purchasing the unused pieces.
      7. Faculty Desk Copies

        1. It is the faculty member's or department's responsibility to obtain desk copies. Textbook publishers normally will provide desk copies at no charge to departments when requested. Textbook Service or The Cougar Store can provide publisher contact information if requested.
        2. When sufficient quantities are on hand, Textbook Service will provide a temporary loan of a textbook copy for up to six weeks.  The academic department must submit an AP Invoice Distribution form with the correct account information along with the request to borrow the textbook.  Any textbook not returned within the six weeks will be charged to the academic department’s account.
        3. If a determination is made that there are not enough copies of a textbook to loan to the academic department due to student enrollment, a textbook will not be loaned.  Undergraduate students are entitled to a text before a textbook is loaned to an academic department.  Should the enrollment increase, the academic department may be requested to return a loaned textbook for a student who is enrolled.
      8. Out of Print, Difficult to Obtain Textbooks and Old Publication Date or Edition

        1. All faculty members are requested to research their new book order request to avoid adopting a textbook that is out of print, available in a new edition or a text that is difficult to obtain.  Textbook Service will not source from any individual third party sellers (i.e. Amazon, eBay, etc.).
        2. Textbook Service will not keep textbooks when there are not enough copies to supply the entire class enrollment.
        3. Students are charged a mandatory general fee and each student is entitled to have their own individual copy of required course materials.
        4. Textbook Service will notify the academic department and instructor when a textbook is out of print or if enough copies of a current textbook cannot be obtained.
        5. The instructor will be required to submit a new book request to replace the out of print/unavailable textbook.
      9. Student’s Responsibility For Rental Textbooks

        1. A student must be enrolled in the class and present their Cougar ID card to rent textbooks.
        2. Rental textbooks are due by 5:00 p.m. Saturday at the end of final exam week. Textbooks may be returned at any time during the semester.
        3. Students will be charged a discounted price for textbooks not returned by the due date.
        4. The student accepts all responsibility for care of their textbooks as well as risk or loss from any cause including books stolen, lost or returned in an unacceptable/damaged condition. Examples of unacceptable condition include: damage caused by liquids (i.e. rain, snow, coffee, etc.), mold or mildew, chemical spills, teeth marks, missing components or supplemental materials and/or book cover/spine damage.  Books without the barcode or missing front covers will not be accepted. Determination of excessive highlighting, markings or damage, etc. is at the discretion of Textbook Service staff.
        5. A student who withdraws from the university or drops a class must return their rental textbook(s) within three days to avoid any penalties.
        6. For ordering and shipping info, off campus students will follow instructions and submit the form found online at
      10. Incomplete Course Work Textbook Request

        1. Students, who are completing course work from a previous semester and require a rental textbook to complete course work, need the following:

          1. Student ID
          2. Memo or email from the instructor with the name of the student, department, course number and title of textbook
          3. Payment of the current general fee for each semester
          4. To return the textbook by the end of the semester
      11. Special Book Request

          1. Students requiring an additional textbook from another course for a special project, independent study or additional materials for current class will need the following:

            1. Student ID
            2. Memo or email from the instructor with the name of the student, department, course number and title of textbook
            3. To return the textbook by the end of the semester
      12. Proficiency Test Textbook Request

        1. Students who wish to take a proficiency test (testing out of a particular class) will need to contact Testing Services to obtain the necessary information and paperwork.  Textbook Service will loan a textbook to the student.  The student will need the following:

          1. Student ID
          2. Payment of the general fee for each semester.
          3. To return the textbook by the end of the semester.  If the textbook is not returned by the semester deadline, the student will be charged a discounted price for the textbook.
      13. Lost Textbook

        1. Students who have lost or misplaced a textbook will be charged a discounted price for the textbook.
      14. Stolen Textbook

        1. In the case of books stolen or destroyed in a fire, flood or other disaster, students are encouraged to have renter or auto insurance to provide the necessary coverage. Textbook Service will supply any necessary documentation for the student to file a claim with their insurance company.
      15. Improperly Shelved Textbooks

        1. Improperly shelved textbooks are defined as three or more textbooks not returned to the proper shelf location.  The exact location of each textbook is provided to the student when they return their textbooks in the form of a printed receipt with the book title and location for each book.
        2. When a stack of three or more improperly shelved textbooks is found, the last student who rented the books is determined.  The textbooks are reissued to the student’s ID number.
        3. The student is contacted via telephone and email, and provided the opportunity to return to Textbook Service and shelve their textbooks in the proper location.
        4. If the student returns during the semester and properly shelves the textbooks, charges will be removed from their student account.  If the student does not return by the end of the second week of the next semester to resolve the issue, the charges on their account will remain.
    3. Textbook Return and Penalty Replacement Cost

      1. The deadline for returning textbooks to Textbook Service without penalty is 5 p.m. Saturday at the end of final examination week.  Students interested in keeping their book will have a discounted price for each book charged to their University account.
      2. After this time, students may no longer return books and their University account will be charged a discounted price for each book. Students may have the opportunity to file a written appeal within fourteen calendar days of the deadline to request review of extenuating circumstances for verifiable reasons (i.e. documented hospitalization illness, death in the immediate family, military service, jury duty, etc.).
      3. Students will be notified about the appeal via an email to the student’s SIUE email address.
    4. Textbook Service Advisory Committee

      1. The committee shall be comprised of one faculty member appointed by each of the Deans of the Schools of Business, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Education, Health and Human Behavior, Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Graduate School.  Two faculty members will be appointed by the Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences.  One faculty member will be appointed by the Dean of Library and Information Services, one faculty member will be appointed by the Curriculum Council and one faculty member will be appointed by the Graduate Council, and will represent the Faculty Senate on the advisory board.

      2. One representative from other units utilizing Textbook Service (i.e. Educational Outreach, Learning Support Services, etc.), appointed by the appropriate director, will serve on the committee.

      3. Four students will serve on the committee.  Two students are appointed by the University Center Board and two students (one undergraduate student and one graduate student) are appointed by Student Government.  Terms of service for student members are for one academic year with possible reappointment. 

      4. The Assistant Director for Textbook Service and The Cougar Store, Assistant Manager for Textbook Service, Director of the University Center, and the University Center Business Manager will serve as ex-officio members of the committee.  Other ex-officio members may be requested to serve on the committee by the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

      5. Each faculty member’s term will be for three years, with an option to renew for another three years on rotating terms.  The Director of the University Center will be responsible for notifying the deans of the faculty members’ terms and requesting new faculty members from the appropriate dean.

      6. At the last meeting of the spring semester, the committee will elect a chair who will serve for the upcoming year.  The chair will call meetings, develop the agenda, appoint students, and provide leadership to ensure that the committee functions within its stated mission.

      7. The committee is tasked with reviewing fee proposals each year before proposals are submitted for approval to ensure financial solvency of the operation and protect student interests by ensuring fees are kept affordable.  The Advisory Board will report to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs with recommendations.

      8. The committee is also tasked with reviewing Textbook Service policy.  When a majority of the voting members make recommendations for changing the policies or procedures for Textbook Service, such recommendations will be forwarded to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for review and forwarded to the Chancellor for final approval.

Approved by Chancellor effective 7/2/21
This policy was issued on July 2, 2021, replacing the April 23, 2019 version.
Document Reference: 1P1
Origin: AAT 90, OP 11/5/90; OP 8/2/95; CC 14-95/96; OC 4/28/08; OC 3/13/17; OC 4/20/19; OC 7/2/21

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