SOURCE: Follett Higher Education

Follett Higher Education

August 18, 2011 10:00 ET

Follett Higher Education Group and America's Family Financial Expert® Ellie Kay Share How to Graduate From College Debt-Free

Rent-A-Text and CafeScribe® Digital Textbooks Help Students Save Big

OAK BROOK, IL--(Marketwire - Aug 18, 2011) - Student loans are now the largest category of unsecured debt in America, even surpassing credit cards.(1) With tuition costs rising at least twice as fast as overall inflation, simply saving for college is no longer enough.

Follett is taking action against the rising costs of education by partnering with America's Family Financial Expert® Ellie Kay to provide tips to help students and parents make the most of their college dollars. Kay, a best-selling author on financial management, is the mother of seven children, four of whom have already graduated from college debt-free. Kay's tips include:

1. Make the Right Choice -- Choose a school not because it's the best, but because it's the best value. Change the conversation from "I'll go to the best college that I can get into" to "I will go to the school where I can get the best education possible for the least amount of student loan debt."

2. Save Big on Books by Renting -- The average student pays more than $600 for course materials(2) -- the largest expense after tuition and room and board. By renting textbooks through Follett's Rent-A-Text program, students can cut costs by 50 percent or more. CafeScribe's® digital textbooks are another great way to save, and both options are available to purchase in-store and online through efollett.com.

3. Make Scholarships a Part-Time Job -- Millions of dollars of scholarship money go unclaimed every year. This is free money that parents or prospective students who are willing to do some detective work may find more quickly than they think.

4. Create a Budget, and Stick to It -- As a parent of a college student, your love for your student is unconditional, but your money is conditional. To ensure students are making the most of their money, set a budget for spending and manage it by loading funds on a campus card to help track spending. And determine which on-campus retailers accept financial aid to be certain you're making the most of your college dollars.

"The easiest way to save big when students head back to school is by renting textbooks through a program like Rent-A-Text or by purchasing digital textbooks through CafeScribe®," said Kay. "I love that Follett provides students with a variety of affordable choices that can help them save big on a major back-to-school expense."

Rent-A-Text launched last year and has already saved students more than $130 million. This year, the program is doubling the number of available titles to provide even more savings for students. Students who rent books through the program still have the freedom to highlight and take notes in their textbooks (within the normal wear and tear associated with coursework) and the flexibility to pay for their materials through financial aid and campus cards. Students can also save on shipping by having their books delivered to their on campus bookstore.

Another way students can save 40-60 percent on textbooks is through Follett's updated CafeScribe® platform, debuting this fall. Students can work on Macs, PCs and most web-enabled devices like tablets and smartphones when using CafeScribe®. The approach saves students from buying additional devices and provides the freedom to study anywhere, anytime. CafeScribe® also offers unique social note sharing tools that allow students to interact with their peers and professors by sharing notes and insights. The updated product makes digital textbooks smarter with better study tools, more accessibility on different types of devices and more book titles than ever before.

"Follett knows today's students are facing overwhelming education costs," said Thomas A. Christopher, President of Follett Higher Education Group. "Our variety of affordable choices helps every student be successful."

For a full list of Follett and Ellie Kay's tips on how to graduate from college debt-free, visit http://sl1.budurl.com/SavingsTipSheet.

About Follett Higher Education Group
Follett Higher Education Group of Oak Brook, Illinois, is the leading provider of bookstore services and the foremost supplier of used books in North America. Follett services five million students and over 400,000 faculty members through more than 850 stores. Follett also services more than 1,600 independent campus stores with its wholesale services, and has the most visited ecommerce collegiate website, efollett.com, that provides services and products through a network of more than 900 campus stores.

About Follett Corporation
Follett Corporation is a $2.7 billion, privately-held company that provides products, services and solutions to the educational marketplace. Follett Corporation was founded in 1873, and today is headquartered in River Grove, Illinois.

About Ellie Kay
Ellie Kay is a national radio commentator, a regular expert on ABC NEWS NOW Good Money Show, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News, Neil Cavuto, ABC News and Nightline. She is also a popular international speaker, and the best-selling author of fourteen books including her newest release, The 60 Minute Money Workout (Waterbrook, 2010). She is married to a career Stealth F-117A fighter pilot and they have seven children and reside in Southern California.

To view this release in a media-rich format, go to: http://www.pwrnewmedia.com/2011/follett/higher_education

(1) FinAid.org

(2) Student Watch, NACS.org

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