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New Akademos survey highlights the growing demand for enhanced tools and services to better support textbook affordability and digital course materials

Posted by Ariane Rasmussen on September 20, 2017

2017 President, Provost & Academic Leadership White Paper provides valuable insights and best practices for addressing the rapidly changing textbook and course materials marketplace.

Today, Akademos, Inc. announced the release of its latest proprietary research survey and White Paper on textbooks, course materials and bookstore services. The findings of the 2017 President, Provost and Academic Leadership Survey on Textbooks, Course Materials & Bookstore Services provide unique insights into the obstacles colleges and universities face to reducing textbook and course material costs and highlights some of the best practices implemented across institutions to address them.2017 CAO White Paper Image.jpg

This exclusive white paper provides valuable data, comparisons, and analysis on today's hot-button topics, including the following high-priority items for academic leaders in higher education:

  • Textbook affordability
  • Student purchasing behavior
  • The impact of high textbook and course material costs on student success
  • Best practices to improving textbook affordability and accessibility
  • Emerging trends in digital materials and new learning models
  • Evaluation of the current bookstore model

This survey is the third in a series of president, provost and academic leadership surveys on textbooks, course materials and bookstore services conducted since 2013. The full report summarizes responses to all questions asked in the 2017 Survey, provides an instructive analysis of the results, and compares trends from the 2013 and 2015 surveys where applicable.

“At Akademos, we regularly conduct surveys to ensure that we understand and anticipate the demands of the bookstore services and course materials industry,” said CEO John Squires. “We hope that our latest findings will not only paint a clear picture of the challenges institutions encounter today, but also provide colleges and universities with a roadmap on how to proactively address them both now and in the future.”

Request Exclusive White Paper

The 2017 President, Provost and Academic Leadership Survey on Textbooks, Course Materials & Bookstore Services White Paper is available at no charge.

 

 

Topics: Textbook Affordability, Bookstore Services

Akademos webinar on decreasing textbook prices & increasing student success materials now available

Posted by Ariane Rasmussen on June 26, 2017

Last week’s well-attended webinar, City Colleges of Chicago’s Formula for Decreasing Textbook Prices and Increasing Student Success – Revolutionizing the Course Materials Adoption Process, received a lot of positive feedback from attendees.

The session provided a first-hand look into how CCC students have saved over $9.5 million off course material list prices since Fall 2014, through best practices and innovative tools that:

  • Dramatically improved on-time adoptions
  • Increased the number of students ordering before the first day of class
  • Significantly lowered textbook prices for students

Request Session Materials

Participants found the live case study on how changes in the adoption process, new policies, and a new software platform played a large role in addressing textbook affordability and student preparedness, engaging and highly informative.

This interactive discussion was led by expert panelists Jonathan Keiser, PhD, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Educational Quality of City Colleges of Chicago (CCC); Autym Henderson, Academic Affairs Specialist of CCC and John Squires, CEO of Akademos.

The presentation and session recording of the webinar are now available to you and your institution for free.

Topics: Webinars & Events, Textbook Affordability, Textbook Adoption, Student Success

Houghton College chooses Akademos as its online bookstore provider to help reduce course material costs for students

Posted by Ariane Rasmussen on June 15, 2017

The Akademos platform and marketplace will provide Houghton students with lower cost course materials and a highly personalized, user-friendly purchasing experience.

Houghton College, a Christian liberal arts college nationally recognized for its rigorous academics and stellar alumni placement rate, has selected Akademos as its online bookstore provider to help students save on textbooks and course materials. Houghton is located in the western area of the state of New York and is comprised of more than 1,000 students from 39 states, 31 countries, and 30 Christian denominations.

The Houghton College online bookstore will launch this summer to support its Fall 2017 term and is projected to save students, on average, more than 30 percent on textbook costs versus what they are currently paying.houghton.jpg

The Akademos virtual course materials store will give students and faculty complete visibility throughout the textbook purchasing and adoption process. Houghton’s student information system will seamlessly integrate with the Akademos online platform, enabling students to see a personalized listing of the textbooks required for each of their courses and to order books for an entire semester rapidly and efficiently.

“Among the core values of a Houghton College education are high quality and affordability,” said Houghton College President Shirley Mullen. “We have chosen Akademos precisely because of their shared commitment to these values. Their innovative online bookstore provides students with the textbooks and course materials they need at significant cost savings.”

The new online bookstore will continue to provide students with a wide selection of course material options to choose from across new, used, marketplace, rental and eBook formats. Students will now be able to use financial aid on all purchases, including deeply discounted marketplace items.

“The Akademos peer-to-peer marketplace substantially reduces the cost of course materials for students by bringing buyers and sellers together in a transparent environment in which new and used books are bought and sold at the true market rate. It is our experience that more affordable and accessible textbooks drive bookstore utilization resulting in more prepared students and, consequently, overall institutional success,” said Akademos CEO John Squires.

Akademos will also service Houghton College’s faculty and administrators. The Akademos Adoption & Analytics portal allows faculty to compare real-time prices for course materials in multiple formats to choose the best, low-cost options for students. The analytics tools enable faculty and administrators to have critical control over the faculty-adoption and student-purchasing process to track progress from across the entire college to individual classes.

The Houghton College Campus Store will use the space previously dedicated to course materials to offer a wider selection of gifts, apparel, and convenience store items for the campus community.

Learn more about how Akademos can help your institution improve textbook affordability for students and drive academic success.

Topics: Textbook Affordability, Academic Success, Bookstore Services

Why students continue to leave the college bookstore

Posted by Ariane Rasmussen on June 9, 2017

Survey data highlights an 8-point increase in students shopping outside the school-sanctioned bookstore since 2013; price still is the driving factor in where they shop.

Data from the 2017 College CFO Survey on Course Materials and Bookstore Services reveals that nearly half (46%) of survey participants reported that their students abandoned their school-sanctioned bookstore to shop elsewhere for course materials in 2017 – an 8-point increase since 2013’s CFO Survey results.

As the number of students leaving the college bookstore to purchase course materials on third-party online sites continues to rise, textbook sales across university and college bookstores continue to experience a decline. The CFO Survey shows that 83% of survey participants reported that textbook sales were “flat” or “down by more than 10%” in 2013, 91% in 2015 and 95% in 2017, with the number of respondents indicating that sales were “up by more than 10%” only diminishing over time.

Akademos CFO Survey Data 2.png

But what is driving students away from their campus bookstore?

  1. Price: According to 83% of survey participants, high textbook and course material prices continue to be the primary reason leading students to bypass the college bookstore to purchase course materials from third-party, non-school-affiliated competitors like Amazon.
  2. Convenience: In a technology-driven society, students want the convenience of “anytime, anywhere” shopping that is easily made available to them through online sites.
  3. Choice: Third-party online sites offer students a wide variety of inventory to choose from across new, used, rental, and digital textbook formats.

College bookstores can win back the trust and loyalty of their students if they are able to leverage the many potential advantages the school-sanctioned bookstore has over its non-affiliated, third-party counterparts. Below are a few of them:

  • The ability to offer a personalized experience for each student through integration with your institution’s student information system (SIS)
  • The ability to ensure the student is getting the right book (the exact ISBN that the faculty selected)
  • The ability to communicate with your students and send them reminders to purchase their course materials when it gets closer to the starting date of classes
  • The ability to provide format variety and choice on the full required booklist
  • The ability to provide payment flexibility, including the use of financial aid
  • The ability to provide students more competitive buyback programs

Learn more about how Akademos’ proven strategies can help your institution lower textbook costs, win back your students and drive academic success. To request your free copy of the 2017 College CFO Survey on Course Materials & Bookstore Services, click here.

 

Topics: Textbook Affordability, Academic Success, Bookstore Services

New Webinar: City Colleges of Chicago’s formula for decreasing textbook prices & increasing student success

Posted by Ariane Rasmussen on June 7, 2017

Revolutionizing the Course Materials Adoption Process

Register for our new webinar revealing City Colleges of Chicago's formula for decreasing textbook prices and increasing student success – revolutionizing the course material adoption process.

Click Here to Register for Free

This free webinar on Thursday, June 22, 2017, from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST, offers an interactive discussion and live case study featuring insights from:

  • Jonathan Keiser, PhD, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Educational Quality, City Colleges of Chicago (CCC)
  • Autym Henderson, Academic Affairs Specialist of CCC
  • John Squires, CEO of Akademos

Since Fall Term 2014, CCC students have saved over $9.5 million off publisher list prices on their textbooks and course materials. 

Please join us as this expert panel reveals how changes in the adoption process, policies and software have played a large role in addressing textbook affordability and helping students succeed, and how to apply these best practices at your institution.

Space is limited, so register today.

Topics: Company News, Webinars & Events, Textbook Affordability

Black River Technical College partners with Akademos to improve textbook affordability for students

Posted by Ariane Rasmussen on May 24, 2017

The Akademos online bookstore and marketplace will offer BRTC students significant savings on course materials while enabling faculty to easily evaluate and adopt low-cost course material options

brtc logo.jpgBlack River Technical College (BRTC) has partnered with Akademos to launch an online bookstore that will offer students substantial savings on course materials and enable faculty to evaluate and adopt low-cost course material options. Located in Pocahontas, Arkansas, BRTC is a public, two-year college committed to transforming lives and impacting the surrounding community through quality academic and career education.

At BRTC, students can earn degrees and certificates in nine different fields including Health Professions and Related Programs, Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, and Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services. Its Licensed Practical Nurse program was named the best of 27 LPN programs in Arkansas. BRTC also offers a 100% online A.A. in General Studies that can be transferred to a four-year college.

Starting June of 2017, BRTC students can use a custom-branded version of the mobile-optimized Akademos online bookstore to shop for textbooks in a wide range of formats – including new, used, rental, marketplace and digital – from any device, anywhere, at any time – and seamlessly use their financial aid allocation as a payment option during the checkout process. Students can also sell their books through the marketplace once the term is over and set their own price to help ensure they are getting the best return during the buyback process.

“We wanted to make a difference in our students’ lives and understood that reducing textbook costs is one way to drive student preparedness and success. Akademos has a proven track record of offering students real savings on course materials and helping faculty make more cost-conscious choices during the adoption process,” said BRTC President Dr. Eric Turner.

In 2016, Akademos saved students purchasing textbooks and course materials over $13 million, with students saving an average of 60% off publisher list price when they used Akademos’ exclusive marketplace of over 18 million unique titles. 

“We’ve had a profound impact on reducing students’ costs by providing them with more affordable purchase options – including our unique educational marketplace,” said Akademos CEO John Squires. “In addition, our advanced faculty software and services dramatically improve the speed and accuracy of course material adoptions to further reduce course material costs for students.”

The Akademos Adoption & Analytics Portal provides faculty with complete visibility into the real-time prices of course materials in multiple formats during the adoption process enabling them to select the most affordable, high-quality textbook options for students. In addition, the Portal enhances textbook adoption efficiency by enabling administrators to track the progress of course material adoptions across individual departments and the entire college.

Faculty can also utilize Akademos Curriculum Services™ (ACS) to further reduce textbook costs. ACS provides faculty with personal consultations on new learning models and course material choices that support faculty and student success by improving access to alternative, low-cost options. Custom CoursePacks is just one way that can be accomplished.

BRTC’s current on-campus bookstore will transition into a general merchandise and supply store that will serve the growing needs of the BRTC community.

Learn more about how Akademos can help your institution significantly improve textbook affordability for students.

Topics: Company News, Textbook Affordability, Academic Success, Partnerships

New CFO Survey highlights the negative impact textbook prices are having on student success

Posted by Ariane Rasmussen on May 18, 2017

43% of respondents report that high course material costs are having a significant impact on student retention, persistence and completion at their institutions.

Addressing textbook affordability continues to be a key challenge for colleges and universities across the nation. The high cost of course materials affect not only where students choose to shop for their textbooks and course materials, but if they purchase required materials at all — ultimately, affecting students’ preparedness and overall academic performance.

A recent survey conducted by Akademos revealed that 42% of students did not purchase a required textbook for at least one of their classes in 2017, compared to 34% in 2015 (an 8 point increase). This shows that the number of students fully prepared for all of their classes is on a steady decline.StudentSuccessBlogPhoto.jpgAs to why student preparedness has been decreasing over time, according to 83% of survey respondents, high prices continue to be the number one reason why students choose to shop elsewhere for course materials or forego purchasing at all. These data points highlight the correlation between the high cost of textbooks and their impact on student preparedness, and consequently, overall academic success. The more expensive the book, the less likely students are to actually buy it and the less likely they are to be prepared for class.

In fact, nearly half of CFO Survey participants confirmed that textbook costs have an impact on student retention, persistence and completion – with 43% of them indicating that course material prices “very much” affect student success in 2017, versus only 32% in 2013. This 11 point increase in only 4 years shows that the number of business leaders identifying the negative impact textbook prices are having on student academic success is only growing.

Institutional leaders need to take actionable steps to address the key factors impacting student purchasing patterns (or lack thereof) in order to drive student performance. The good news is that many institutions have implemented strategies that have made a positive impact in addressing this challenge, including:

  1. Significantly enhancing their bookstore website to offer students more low-cost course material options (used, rental, digital formats).
  2. Implementing a peer-to-peer online marketplace to more effectively compete with Amazon and other unaffiliated 3rd party websites.
  3. Promoting and supporting cost-conscious adoptions through improved adoption tools that allow faculty to compare prices, choose OER and digital materials, and create CoursePacks.
  4. Enabling students to sell back their books via online buyback so that they can get more money versus traditional on-campus offerings and, in effect, lower their overall cost of ownership.

Learn more about how these proven strategies can help your institution lower textbook costs and drive academic success. For additional data and insight, the 2017 College CFO Survey on Course Materials & Bookstore Services White Paper is available to you at no cost.

 Request Exclusive White Paper Today

 

Topics: Textbook Affordability, Academic Success, Bookstore Services

New Akademos White Paper provides valuable insights from College CFOs on textbooks, course materials and the future role of the college bookstore

Posted by Ariane Rasmussen on April 25, 2017

The 2017 College CFO Survey report highlights an accelerated rise in students leaving the college bookstore and business administrator concern over the impact of textbook prices on student performance and persistence.

THUMBNAIL 2017 CFO White Paper.jpgToday, Akademos Inc. announced the release of an exclusive new White Paper that highlights the results of their proprietary 2017 College CFO Survey on Course Materials and Bookstore Services. This comprehensive report provides critical insight on today’s top college and university bookstore trends and includes findings on bookstore sales, textbook affordability, student preparedness, and emerging trends in digital course materials, eLearning models and general merchandise sales.

This is the third study surveying CFOs and business administrators in higher institutions across the nation. The previous surveys were conducted in 2013 and 2015.

Critical topics addressed in this complimentary White Paper include:

  • The evolving role of the school-sanctioned bookstore
  • Trends in textbook and course material sales
  • Why students are leaving the school-sanctioned bookstore
  • The impact of course material costs on student success, persistence and retention
  • How bookstores need to adapt to meet the demands for new eLearning materials and models
  • The need for an improved adoption process
  • General merchandise sales trends
  • Campus space optimization and the physical footprint of the campus bookstore in the future

“Survey results show that 93% of respondents think textbook prices have an impact on student retention, persistence and completion, as a growing number of students not only have abandoned the school-sanctioned bookstore, but are foregoing purchasing required course materials altogether due to escalating prices,” said John Squires, Akademos Chief Executive Officer. “It’s important for business and academic leadership to continually adapt and prepare for emerging trends in course materials and bookstore services to ensure they are meeting the needs of their students, faculty and entire campus community.”  

The exclusive 2017 College CFO White Paper provides an instructive look at critical issues higher education institutions face and offers potential solutions for the future that can help your institution lower course material costs and win back your students to the campus bookstore.

The full report summarizes responses to all questions asked in the 2017 CFO Survey, provides analysis of the results, and compares trends from the 2013 and 2015 surveys. This White Paper is available at no charge.

 Request Exclusive White Paper Today

 

Topics: Company News, Research, Textbook Affordability, Academic Success, Bookstore Services

Brooklyn Law School partners with Akademos to offer new online bookstore

Posted by Ariane Rasmussen on April 5, 2017

The Akademos Online Bookstore service will offer students a vast selection of low-cost textbooks with a convenient, personalized ordering experience while providing faculty with greater support and visibility during the adoption process.

Brooklyn Law School, known for its vibranBrooklynLawSchool.pngt intellectual community and innovative academic programs designed to prepare students for public service, private practice, and business, has partnered with Akademos, Inc., to offer students a new full-service virtual bookstore that will help students save on textbook and course materials.

Starting with Summer 2017 Session, Brooklyn Law School students will be able to shop for textbooks in new, used, rental and eBook formats on any device using a custom-branded version of the mobile-optimized Akademos online bookstore. Students will save an average of 60% off the list price of their course materials using Akademos’ exclusive marketplace of over 100 million new and used textbooks.

“With so many of our students choosing to shop for course materials on third-party websites, it was more important than ever to offer students a full-service online bookstore experience that can provide them with outstanding service, convenience, and substantial savings,” said William Araiza, Vice Dean and Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School.

The next-generation Akademos online shopping platform will be fully integrated with the Law School’s student information system, enabling students to see a personalized listing of the textbooks required for their courses and order books for an entire term in less than five minutes.

“We are excited to partner with Brooklyn Law School to provide students with more affordable purchase options through our unique educational marketplace while providing faculty with the most advanced adoptions and analytics tools to facilitate the adoption process,” said John Squires, Akademos Chief Executive Officer.

Akademos also will provide service to Brooklyn Law faculty and administrators. Through the Akademos Adoption & Analytics portal, faculty will be able to compare real-time prices for course materials in multiple formats to choose among the most affordable and highest-quality materials for students.

Learn more about expanding affordable textbook options for students and online bookstore offerings for educational institutions.

Topics: Company News, Textbook Affordability, Academic Success, Partnerships

Akademos and indiCo join forces to create a one-stop shop hybrid college bookstore solution

Posted by Ariane Rasmussen on March 29, 2017

New partnership provides a virtual and physical solution that will help institutions lower textbook costs, drive academic success and build an innovative campus store.

StackedJointLogosCropped.jpgAkademos and indiCo today announced a partnership to provide full-service virtual and physical bookstore solutions for colleges and universities. This hybrid bookstore solution will dramatically lower textbook prices, provide an innovative campus retail environment, facilitate the transition to new digital course materials and increase student readiness and academic success.

The Akademos-indiCo partnership gives institutions the best of both worlds – an innovative virtual bookstore solution for course materials managed by Akademos, and a campus solution for general merchandise sales provided by indiCo, a subsidiary of the National Association of College Stores (NACS).

“This partnership addresses a critical market need for colleges and universities,” says Jonathan Shar, Chief Marketing Officer of Akademos. “There's significant opportunity for Akademos to partner with schools because of our proven impact on textbook affordability, but many institutions no longer have the knowledge and resources to run a general merchandise store themselves. Together, Akademos and indiCo will develop custom, one-stop shop solutions for institutions that want an innovative, future-proof model that lowers textbook costs and takes back the campus store.”

Akademos’ eCommerce platform and advanced tools reduce textbook costs for students, facilitate the course materials adoption process for faculty, and provide administrators and faculty with critical visibility and control over the textbook delivery process. indiCo’s suite of collaborative services gives institutions an alternative to the traditional leasing of their campus store by allowing them to remain independent from large bookstore-operating companies.

“While leasing the campus store was once a viable option, that model has deteriorated. We believe that independent stores best serve the needs of students and higher education,” says Robert A. Walton, NACS Chief Executive Officer. “Corporate leasing companies now drain more than $1 billion in profits from leased stores every five years. That is money that, through institutionally operated stores, could fund financial aid and other student services, employee benefits, and campus facilities renewal. That’s $2 billion every decade going into the pockets of corporate operators and their investors — money that higher education desperately needs.”

Through this partnership, indiCo’s Independent Campus Stores Collaborative services will provide institutions with a physical store solution for all merchandise categories, other than textbooks and assigned course materials. This solution can range from retail management consultation to full-service store design and management, including complete merchandising, retail POS systems, and staffing developed specifically for an institution’s needs.

“Through this strategic partnership with indiCo, the virtual and physical stores will work together and share specific connection points like cross promotion and general support to optimize and enhance the student, faculty and administrator experience,” said John Squires, Chief Executive Officer of Akademos. “It is possible to drive student success through more affordable course materials and maintain a successful general merchandise campus store – we are here to help institutions do exactly that.”

To see if this solution is right for your institution, click here to learn more.

Topics: Company News, Textbook Affordability, New Bookstore Models, Textbook Adoption, Academic Success, Partnerships, Textbook Accessibility, Campus Store Solutions