Survey results highlight a significant gap between institutions recognizing the problem of textbook affordability and those taking action to implement change.
In 2013, Akademos conducted the first comprehensive survey of College and University Presidents, Provosts, and CAOs focusing on textbook delivery, costs, and bookstore services. The just-released 2015 follow up survey reveals a rich set of data points, key trends and insight into the challenges and opportunities facing institutions regarding escalating textbook prices and their impact across all campus stakeholder groups.
Results show that as textbook prices continue to climb, college CAOs have seen the challenges in delivery and bookstore services accelerate, including the following key findings:
- 91% reported that high textbook costs negatively impact retention and persistence
- High textbook prices are driving a significant number (81%) of students to shop for books outside of the school-sanctioned store
- Student and faculty satisfaction with textbook prices remain extremely low
- Only 21% reported to having a formal program to help faculty select high quality, low cost course materials, which is a driver of higher student and faculty satisfaction.
Administrators are being forced to take a critical look at their current bookstore model in an effort to keep up with the demands required to serve student needs and improve student outcomes. Institutions that have formal textbook affordability programs report significantly higher levels of student and faculty satisfaction with regard to textbook costs.
We believe this data should be very actionable for most institutions and that the time to act is now. It is encouraging to see that institutions with active textbook affordability programs have seen positive results. We hope this White Paper will spur institutions across the country to critically evaluate their textbook and delivery services for the future.