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Georgia Military College Partners with Akademos to Lower Textbook Costs for Students

Posted by Jonathan Shar on April 27, 2015

With the goal of providing more affordable access to education for all students, Georgia Military College’s Online Campus partners with Akademos to launch an online bookstore aimed at delivering significant discounts on course materials.

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We are pleased to announce that Georgia Military College Online Campus (http://www.gmc.edu), a public-independent educational institution comprised of a junior college and a separate preparatory school, has joined our list of partner schools.

Starting this summer, GMC students will be able to order their course materials through the new school-sanctioned online bookstore and seamlessly choose between New, Used, Marketplace, Rental and eBook options, dramatically expanding their access to lower cost textbooks. With a design optimized for smartphones and tablets, students can conveniently place orders anytime, anywhere through the new Akademos’ powered service.

“At Georgia Military College, we are continually seeking ways to help students successfully complete their degree as quickly and affordably as possible—and Akademos’ online bookstore aligns perfectly with this objective,” said Jody Yearwood, Executive Director of the Online Campus. “We offer all of our Associate Degrees completely online and charge no out of state tuition fees. And now we will offer students a best-in-class textbook delivery platform with competitive prices, further reducing the expense of education for our students.”

“Like a growing number of institutions, we recognize that affordable access to a high quality education is the cornerstone of Georgia Military College,” said Chief Executive Officer John Squires. “We are excited to add GMC to our rapidly growing list of Colleges and Universities. We look forward to teaming with students, faculty, and administrators to lower the cost of course materials, enhance textbook adoption efficiencies, and ultimately, to achieve our mutual goal of improving learning outcomes for students.”

 To learn more about expanding affordable textbook options for students and the Akademos’ virtual bookstore offering, visit www.akademos.com. To see how the Akademos solution can work for your institution, register today for a personalized 1:1 consultation.

 

Topics: Company News

The Declining Trend in College Textbook Sales

Posted by Jonathan Shar on April 24, 2015

In the begining of 2013, Akademos published the first comprehensive survey of college CFOs regarding the future of college bookstore services.  One question participants were asked was to estimate the trend line in their bookstore's textbook sales over the past 3 years and 83% of respondents indicated that textbook sales have been flat or down per the chart below.

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Two years later, see how this trend line has dramitcally changed when Akademos reveals its first look at the recently completed follow-up study on the trends and future of textbook services in a live webinar on April 29.

Learn what leading college CFOs think about the evolving bookstore model and hear from one such leader, Robert Pignatello, on how John Jay College reimagined the college bookstore for the 21st century.  This special webinar that will prove helpful to college administrators across the country facing these and other related challenges.

Register for the Webinar Today!

John Squires, CEO of Akademos will lead the discussion along with Robert Pignatello, SVP Finance and Administration at CUNY’s John Jay College who will provide insightful commentary on the key findings.
Live Webinar: April 29, 2015 from 2:00PM – 3:00PM ET

 

 

The Changing Role of the College Bookstore

Posted by Jonathan Shar on April 21, 2015

The college bookstore services landscape has been radically transformed over the last few years as students, faculty and administrators are increasingly concerned about the escalating costs of textbooks. Colleges are now searching for new solutions to lower costs and support their core mission of educating students.

In the begining of 2013, Akademos published the first comprehensive survey of college CFOs regarding the future of bookstore services. One question participants were asked to address was their opinion on the primary role of the bookstore.  

Overwhelmingly, College CFO's (80% of them) chose providing textbooks as the bookstore's central objective.2012-2013_Primary_Role_of_the_Bookstore

See how the opinion of CFOs throughout the country has now changed when Akademos reveals its first look at the recently completed follow-up study on the trends and future of textbook services in a live webinar on April 29.

Learn what leading college CFOs think about the evolving bookstore model and hear from one such leader, Robert Pignatello, on how John Jay College reimagined the college bookstore for the 21st century.  This special webinar that will prove helpful to college administrators across the country facing these and other related challenges.

Register for the Webinar Today!

John Squires, CEO of Akademos will lead the discussion along with Robert Pignatello, SVP Finance and Administration at CUNY’s John Jay College who will provide insightful commentary on the key findings.

Live Webinar: April 29, 2015 from 2:00PM – 3:00PM ET
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CUNY’s Medgar Evers College to Launch Online Bookstore to Reduce Textbook Costs for Students

Posted by Jonathan Shar on April 20, 2015

Medgar Evers chooses Akademos to improve student success and increase textbook affordability, becoming the second City University of New York (CUNY) institution to partner with Akademos.

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Akademos announced today that City University of New York’s (CUNY) Medgar Evers College (http://www.mec.cuny.edu) has joined its rapidly growing list of partner schools.

With Akademos’ personalized online bookstore, marketplace and course materials adoption platforms, Medgar Evers students will have significantly expanded access to a broad selection of lower priced textbook options.

“I am pleased to welcome Medgar Evers to Akademos,” said Chief Executive Officer John Squires. “We are excited for the opportunity to serve another CUNY school and look forward to applying our experience with Medgar Evers to delivering an innovative online bookstore experience for Medgar Evers students, faculty, and administrators.”

Beginning with summer term 2015, Medgar Evers students can shop for textbooks in the format of their choice across new, used, rental or eBook options and place orders anytime, anywhere through the mobile optimized online bookstore and marketplace. In addition, the bookstore will accept the CUNY Scholar card, enabling students to seamlessly apply financial aid toward their purchases. With the deep SIS integration and best-in-class online shopping experience, Medgar Evers students will now be able to complete their entire textbook ordering for a term in less than 5 minutes.

“During this time of industry-wide bookstore transformation and competitive online landscape, institutions must find proactive solutions to increase textbook affordability,” said Dr. Augustine Okerke, Senior Vice President/Provost at Medgar Evers. “Our new Akademos powered online bookstore will meet our student’s demand for competitively priced textbooks. Furthermore, Akademos will meet our needs by giving students, faculty and administrators more choices, reducing space requirements, and bringing Medgar Evers a stable business model that serves our institution for years to come."

To learn more about expanding affordable textbook options for students and Akademos’ solutions for Colleges and Universities, visit http://www.akademos.com

About Medgar Evers College 
Located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Medgar Evers College is a growing institution offering both Associate and Baccalaureate degrees. The nearly 7,000-member student body is primarily comprised of those who are the first in their families to attend college. A senior college within The City University of New York (CUNY) system, Medgar Evers College was established in 1970 with a mandate to meet the educational and social needs of the Central Brooklyn community. With a commitment to students who desire a sound academic foundation as well as an opportunity for personal development, Medgar Evers College seeks to provide high-quality, professional, career-oriented undergraduate degree programs in the context of a liberal arts education. For more information, visit http://www.mec.cuny.edu.

 

Topics: Company News

New Webinar: Textbook Affordability and Bookstore Services

Posted by Jonathan Shar on April 15, 2015

Featuring the first look at Akademos’ recently completed research on the trends and future of textbook services. Learn what leading college CFOs think about the evolving bookstore model and hear from one such leader, Robert Pignatello, on how John Jay College reimagined the college bookstore for the 21st century.  

WEBINAR2015 College CFO Survey on Textbook Affordability and Bookstore Services

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The college bookstore services landscape has been radically transformed over the last few years as students, faculty and administrators are increasingly concerned about the escalating costs of textbooks. Colleges are now searching for new solutions to lower costs and support their core mission of educating students.

Three years ago Akademos completed the first comprehensive survey of college CFOs regarding the future of bookstore services and has just completed an exciting follow-up study addressing critical issues, including: 

    • Trends in campus bookstore textbook sales
    • The number of students not purchasing required materials and why
    • The impact of textbook costs on student success, persistence and retention
    • The percentage of students leaving their school-sanctioned bookstore and why
    • How bookstore services need to change to meet the demands for new learning materials and models

See how these and other important questions begin to be addressed in this special webinar that will prove helpful to college administrators across the country facing these and other related challenges.

John Squires, CEO of Akademos will lead the discussion along with Robert Pignatello, SVP Finance and Administration at CUNY’s John Jay College who will provide insightful commentary on the key findings.
Live Webinar: April 29, 2015 from 2:00PM – 3:00PM ET

Space is limited. Register today!

 

Seven Factors Impacting Campus Bookstore Sales

Posted by Jonathan Shar on April 10, 2015


Adapted from our white paper, Reducing Textbook Costs through Transitioning to an Online Bookstore. Click here to download a free copy. 


Recent studies have shown that many college students are opting not to buy any or all textbooks for at least one of their courses due to high prices, leading to students being less prepared for class and negatively impacting their academic performance.  In addition, studies show that many students are selecting courses based upon the cost of the textbooks. Left unchecked, these factors may undermine the fundamental mission of many colleges and universities.

If your college or university is experiencing this trend, it’s important to consider the factors that might be contributing to poor student utilization of your bookstore service.

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As a first step, undertake an audit of your current service and consider all the elements that might be contributing to either high material costs or low student satisfaction. Some areas to consider:

  1. Does your bookstore have enough access to low cost used books and rentals?

  2. What percentage of your courses have used books and what is their relative cost versus the used peer-to-peer marketplace (check out textbookx.com for helpful comparisons)

  3. What percentage of your students are using your current bookstore? (Read our blog post, “Is Your Campus Bookstore Missing Textbook Sales?”)

  4. Are high commissions and guarantees impacting the cost of your textbooks?

  5. Is space at a premium on your campus? When evaluating the performance of your bookstore, do you factor in the opportunity cost of the space you allocate for textbooks?

  6. Do your faculty have access to adoption tools that show them the real cost of book ownership and provide high-quality alternatives?

  7. Is the online site that supports your bookstore the best in class?

For more information on these questions and other key best practices in driving textbook affordability and bookstore utilization, download our free white paper Reducing Textbook Costs through Transitioning to an Online Bookstore.

Click here to download the White Paper

Determining Your College Bookstore's Key Requirements

Posted by Jonathan Shar on April 8, 2015


Adapted from our white paper, Reducing Textbook Costs through Transitioning to an Online Bookstore. Click here to download a free copy. 
“Very expensive, no options (to purchase textbooks) with book vouchers”
- Open-ended response to Davenport University’s student satisfaction tracker

Over the past three decades college textbook prices have grown 812%, increasing three times faster than the Consumer Price Index.  Administrators, faculty, students, and parents are increasingly concerned about the escalating cost of textbooks. Colleges are now searching for new solutions to lower costs and support their core mission of educating students.

While the need for new solutions to lower textbook costs is clearly understood, establishing the key requirements and criteria is critical to evaluating which solutions are the best fit for each institution.

As part of this process, Davenport University established a core cross-functional textbook affordability committee and solicited additional feedback from key functional areas like procurement, academics, student services, and IT.  In addition, they held overview sessions to solicit input from students, faculty, and administrators to help the team develop the University’s key bookstore requirements.

Based upon this feedback, they prioritized solutions that could:

  • Significantly drive down the average per-textbook cost for its students
  • Seamlessly integrate financial aid as a textbook payment option (even for lower cost used and rental options)
  • Provide personalized class listings and associated course materials to allow its students to quickly complete book purchasing for a full term all in one place

John Jay College of Criminal Justice established similar requirements, also focusing on providing personalized course lists through an SIS integration and lower-cost textbooks (including used, rental, eBook, and peer-to-peer marketplace options) which provides complete pricing transparently for students.  As a city-based school with a student population on the go, an online commerce experience optimized for smartphone and tablet access was also a must. In addition, John Jay was looking to repurpose much of the square footage allocated to its physical bookstore and required a quick turnaround for launching their online bookstore.

Once requirements are established and prioritization is agreed upon across all key campus stakeholders, the institution is well positioned to select the solution and approach that is the best fit for the college and its students.

For more information and other key best practices in driving textbook affordability, download our free white paper Reducing Textbook Costs through Transitioning to an Online Bookstore.

Click here to download the White Paper

 

The Benefits of Establishing a Textbook Affordability Committee

Posted by Jonathan Shar on April 6, 2015

Adapted from our white paper, Reducing Textbook Costs through Transitioning to an Online Bookstore. Click here to download a free copy. 


According to the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and the Student PIRGS’ Fixing the Broken Textbook Market report, 65% of surveyed college students said that they had decided against buying a textbook because it was too expensive. The survey also found that 94% of students who had foregone purchasing a textbook were concerned that doing so would hurt their grade in a course.

If your college’s experience is similar, it’s important to consider the factors that might be contributing to poor student utilization of your bookstore. As a first step, undertake an audit of your current service and consider all the elements that might be contributing to either high material costs or low student satisfaction.

The Benefits of Establishing a Textbook Affordability Committee

Through growing student feedback and internal reviews, City University of New York’s (CUNY) John Jay College of Criminal Justice identified the diminishing returns of its brick and mortar school bookstore as a growing and significant problem for students and the college itself. A cross-functional textbook savings committee was formed and extensive research was done to investigate options and uncover student needs.

Consistent with the Fixing the Broken Textbook Market report, John Jay found that 77% of students surveyed might not buy textbooks for one or more classes due to the high cost of materials. The school knew “it was time to do something dramatic to reduce textbook costs.” John Jay also determined that the extremely high cost of space they were subsidizing for their bookstore could be re-purposed into another, very valuable student resource.

“It was time to do something dramatic to reduce textbook costs”

- Robert Pignatello, SVP of Finance and Administration, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Davenport University, the second largest private, non-profit institute of higher education in Michigan, with 10 campuses across the state, started tracking student feedback on textbook sales in 2009. Similar to John Jay, Davenport has seen significant declines in student satisfaction centered on the rising cost of textbooks.  The student satisfaction trends become a leading indicator of future declines in sales and bookstore utilization, leading to the development of a core cross-functional team to quickly review alternatives.

For both John Jay and Davenport, understanding and quantifying the magnitude of the problem for students was a critical first step in developing their new textbook distribution solutions. There are two important components of this step:

  • Establishing a cross-functional textbook savings committee, which should include representation from financial administration, academic leadership, faculty and students 
  • Developing student satisfaction tracking to quantify key issues, measure trends over time and establish benchmarks that a new solution can be compared to

For more information and other key best practices in driving textbook affordability, download our free white paper Reducing Textbook Costs through Transitioning to an Online Bookstore.

Click here to download the White Paper

New Webinar: Community Colleges and Solving Escalating Textbook Costs

Posted by Jonathan Shar on March 11, 2015

In partnership with The American Association of Community Colleges, Akademos is pleased to announce that registration is now open for a brand new webinar focused on addressing the rising costs of textbooks.

See details below and register for free today! Space is limited, so don't miss out.

Community Colleges and Solving Escalating Textbook Costs

Webinar: Tuesday, March 24, 2pm—3pm ET

Over the past three decades college textbook prices have grown 812 percent, increasing more than 3 times the Consumer Price Index. Colleges across the country are attempting to address this issue in response to recent studies that show that students are opting not to buy some textbooks, resulting in poorer academic performance. This critical issue is especially prevalent at community colleges where often times the cost of class materials can be 35% of the overall cost of education.



In this special interactive webinar, see how other colleges are approaching textbook affordability and how your institution can apply these best practices. Examples of topics that will be covered include, best practices for the formation of a textbook affordability committee, student satisfaction and bookstore utilization tracking, new models for instructional materials that move beyond the printed book, and how institutions balance the budgetary pressures of declining textbook sales with their desire to improve student access to low cost materials.



The panel discussion will include:


  • Dr. Joe May - Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District

  • Mr. John Squires – CEO, Akademos, Inc

  • Mr. Mark Virello - Chief Financial Officier, Labouré College
  • Plus more

Space is limited: Register today.

 

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Topics: Webinars & Events

Innovation in Higher Education at ACE Conference 2015

Posted by Jonathan Shar on March 10, 2015

Leaders from across Higher Education will converge on Washington DC this weekend for the American Council of Education’s 97th Annual Meeting. One of the premier higher education events brings together nearly 2,000 leaders from across the country to hear from thought leaders and discuss the most pressing issues of the day. This year’s theme of "Promises to Keep: Higher Education and the Public Trust” commemorates the 50th anniversaries of the Civil Rights Act, the Higher Education Act and the Voting Rights Act and will give attendees the opportunity to reflect on the promise of these initiatives, assess their current status and look ahead to new challenges and accomplishments.

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Featured topics and speakers include:

  • Leveraging Technology to Support First-Year Student Satisfaction and Success
    • Speaker: Denise Swett, Vice President, Student Services, Foothill College (CA)
  • State Financial Aid in the Twenty-First Century
    • Speakers: David A. Longanecker, President, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education; Tim Nesbitt, Chair, Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission; Jane V. Wellman, Senior Advisor, College Access Foundation of California
  • Income Inequality in Higher Education
    • Speakers: Paul Krugman Distinguished Scholar, Luxembourg Income Study Center, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, and Catharine Bond Hill, President and Professor of Economics, Vassar College (NY)
  • College 2050 – Equity and Innovation in Higher Education
    • Speakers: Waded Cruzado, President, Montana State University Cathy N. Davidson, Distinguished Professor; Director of the Futures Initiative and the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC), The City University of New York Ted Mitchell, Under Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education
  • Council of Fellows Professional Development Session: Steering Your Campus During Difficult Times
    • Speakers: Livingston Alexander, President, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and University of Pittsburgh at Titusville Linda P. Brady, Chancellor, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Alexander Gonzalez, President, California State University, Sacramento Jerrilee K. Mosier, Chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College– Northeast (IN)

 

These speakers and topics will no doubt stimulate a lot of great discussion on what it will take to educate the next generation of students in our ever evolving world where technology and economic realities create new challenges and opportunities.The team at Akademos is excited to join this important discussion in our Nation’s capital.  As textbook prices soar, colleges are searching for solutions to lower costs and support their core mission of educating students and we would love to share our thoughts on this very important topic.  

If you’ll be at the conference please stop by Booth #212 in the Exhibit Hall on March 15 and March 16.  If you can’t make it and want to learn more about expanding affordable textbook options for students and our online bookstore services for colleges and universities, visit Akademos.com or register today for a personalized 1:1 consultation.

 

Topics: Webinars & Events

 

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