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Textbook Savings Program

Textbook Savings Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Students are concerned about college affordability. Rio Salado College, Pearson Custom Publishing, and Follett Higher Education Group have partnered to offer an innovative solution to these concerns, a customized textbook program at an affordable price.

What is Rio Salado College doing to make textbooks more affordable?

Rio Salado College has created a unique partnership with Pearson Custom Publishing to produce customized textbooks for courses with content specific to Rio Salado courses. These textbooks will be sold exclusively though the Bookstore @ Rio.  The result is the Rio Salado Textbook Savings Program, which will offer substantial savings over the price of traditional new and used textbooks. As of December 21, 2007, new textbooks for more than 30 courses will be available with average savings of 51% off the cost of the original new textbook.

Do these textbooks have all content I need for the course?

These customized textbooks contain exactly the material Rio Salado faculty members have determined you need to master the course. New titles will be added monthly over the next year and a half. 

How much money can I save through the program?

You will immediately notice that textbooks published through the Textbook Savings Program are considerably more affordable. Our students realize an average savings of 51% as compared to a regular textbook. 

What do the books look like?

These attractively-designed books are distinguished by the Rio Salado College brand on the cover. The content will be of similar high production value to regular textbooks and most importantly will be tailored to address the specific needs of Rio Salado courses.  Students won’t be paying for material they won’t be using.

What else is different about these textbooks?

Textbooks have been reviewed and edited by Rio Salado College faculty members to ensure that all material needed to master the course is included.  This means students will focus their time reading material that is relevant to their course. Furthermore, only one textbooks will be required for each course. The result is a more streamlined textbook that more effectively addresses the specific requirements of Rio Salado students. The course content meets all Maricopa Community College District mandated curriculum requirements for degrees and transferability.

Which titles are part of the program?

View current participating titles.

How do I order these textbooks?

Pre-orders are being taken now through December 20, with delivery starting December 21.  After that date the books will be in stock only at the Bookstore @ Rio in Tempe. You can order online at or in-person through the Bookstore @ Rio located inside the Rio Salado College Conference Center, 2323 West 14th Street, Tempe (between Broadway and University and west of 54th Street).

When does the program start?

The launch of the customized textbooks will cover courses beginning with the Spring 2008 term and continue over nearly a two-year period, until October 2009.

How many courses are affected by these new textbooks?

Rio Salado has targeted the most popular courses with the highest enrollments for the program. When the roll out is completed it will cover approximately 90% of the textbooks used in Rio Salado courses.

Why aren’t other institutions of higher education doing this?

Although other institutions across the country are working on their own solutions for affordability, only Rio Salado College has this unique arrangement with Pearson Custom Publishing and Follett Higher Education Group to produce and sell texts at a substantially reduced price.  This model is made possible by efficient high-volume sales of custom textbooks. For a long time Rio faculty have subscribed to the practice of having an official college text for each course (rather than multiple texts catering to individual faculty preference) making textbook sales very efficient.  Now, custom textbooks from a single publisher have been adopted as a college-wide solution to textbook affordability.

How do used textbooks fit into this program?

Because these textbooks are offered at substantial savings up front, the resale value for used books through Follett bookstores will be 20% of the purchase price.