Pearson, Barnes & Noble Education Partner to Bring Students Affordable, High-Quality Textbook Rentals

Pearson announced the latest in series of partnerships to expand its textbook rental program. Today’s announcement brings Pearson’s textbook rental program to Barnes & Noble Education’s (NYSE:BNED) 1,490 physical and virtual bookstores, serving more than 6 million students. Beginning this fall, the program will be piloted at Barnes & Noble College stores, enhancing their current industry leading rental program with these 49 popular Pearson titles. The titles will be available in print and digital versions via a “rental-only” model, which will provide students with affordable access to the selected titles. All titles under this program can be rented for under $100, with electronic versions of these titles being the lowest cost option. Pearson anticipates expanding the titles included in this program over time.
In January, Pearson announced a two-step plan to take on the issue of college affordability. The plan immediately reduced the prices of 2000 e-book titles by up to 50 percent when it was announced earlier this year. The second phase of the effort ensures that students can rent popular print titles online and in-store through trusted retailers. This rental-only model allows Pearson to reduce prices by up to 60 percent and ensure that all students have access to affordable textbooks. The Barnes & Noble College agreement represents the third-and largest-partnership in that program.
“Barnes & Noble College joining Pearson as a rental program partner marks the most significant step yet in fulfilling a promise to provide students with more choices and better prices on their course materials,” said Tim Bozik, president of global product at Pearson. “We are excited to work with one of the largest contract operators of college bookstores to bring these high-quality Pearson materials to the Barnes & Noble College stores and websites that so many students already turn to for their course materials.”
This program is part of Pearson’s ongoing commitment to making college more accessible and more affordable for students. In addition to the eBook price reduction and the print rental program, Pearson has introduced Revel–digital courseware that blends authors’ narrative, interactive media, and assessment, enabling students to read, practice, and study in one continuous experience–for less than the cost of a traditional textbook. Students can access Revel with their computer, tablet or mobile phone for as little as $65.
Pearson has also launched programs such as Digital Direct Access, which delivers digital course materials directly to students on the first day of class. Pearson is actively working with BNED to expand this program at its 1,490 campus and virtual bookstores. Digital Direct Access can save students up to 60 percent compared to the price of traditional print materials.
And, Pearson recently announced a partnership with IBM Watson to create virtual college tutors, making digital learning easier and more engaging.