Akademos_Blog

Research Finds Strong Correlation Between Textbook Affordability Programs and College Student Satisfaction

Posted by Jonathan Shar on July 22, 2015

According to research results highlighted in The 2015 survey of College Presidents, Provosts and CAOs on the Future of Bookstore Services and Textbook Delivery White Papercreating a formalized textbook affordability program is the key to unlocking student and faculty satisfaction. 

textbookaffordabilitycorrelation

One of the most important insights from our 2015 survey of College Presidents, Provosts and CAOs on the Future of Bookstore Services and Textbook Delivery is that having a formal program to help faculty select high-quality, low-cost course materials directly correlates with higher student and faculty satisfaction. However, only 21% of institutions in the survey reported that they have a formal program.

This piece of data should be very actionable for most institutions and does not require a major investment or implementation of complex technology. Our new white paper includes some best practices for textbook affordability programs so that every institution can start the process of implementing a program for their campus. 

Click here to download the survey results white paper

Topics: Research, Textbook Affordability

The Impact of Textbook Costs on Student Retention (According to College Presidents and Provosts)

Posted by Jonathan Shar on July 20, 2015

In our 2015 survey of College Presidents, Provosts and CAOs on the Future of Bookstore Services and Textbook Delivery, we asked participants to weigh in on how the exorbitant cost of textbooks are affecting student outcomes. 

The majority (91%) of respondents agreed that the high cost of textbooks and course materials is having a negative impact on student retention, persistence, and completion.

retentionCAOSource: Akademos

Furthermore: 

  • 97% of 2-Year Public Institutions in the survey indicated that textbook costs negatively impacted retention and persistence, including 45% stating “Very Much”
  • 94% of Presidents in the survey indicated that textbook costs negatively impacted retention and persistence, including 37% stating “Very Much”

To learn what tactics higher education leaders are using to address this challenge and to view other key trends and predictions, download the College President, Provost and CAO Survey White Paper on the Future of Bookstore Services and Textbook Delivery today, available free of charge. 

Click here to download the survey results white paper  

 

Topics: Research, Textbook Affordability

New White Paper: 2015 College President, Provost and CAO Survey on the Future of Bookstore Services and Textbook Delivery

Posted by Jonathan Shar on July 7, 2015

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.

 

President_CAO_white_papaer
Click here to download

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% of administrators 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
  • 85% of respondents reported that they were involved in a textbook affordability strategy at their institution, but only 21% reported 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.

shutterstock_141581965

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.

Click here to download the survey results white paper

The White Paper is available at no charge.  After reviewing, if you have any questions about the survey results we would be delighted to discuss in further detail.  

Topics: Research, Textbook Affordability

2015 CFO Survey on Bookstore Services: Exclusive White Paper Report Now Available for Download

Posted by Jonathan Shar on June 17, 2015

Textbook delivery and bookstore services have become a prominent issue for college and university CFOs, likely due in part to increasing attention to the rising cost of textbooks from students, their families, accreditation committees, and state governments.

The question remains, can the competitive and technical challenges of serving student needs and improving student outcomes be met by the current on-campus bookstore model, particularly in an increasingly online world? 

To better understand the scope of this issue, we are excited to release the results of our 2015 College CFO Survey on Textbook Delivery and Bookstore Services in this exclusive report.

cfowhitepaper
Click here to download

Highlights of the survey include CFOs reporting that:

  • Students are increasingly turning away from campus-based bookstores in favor of third-party providers (93% confirmed this trend).
  • Access to high-quality, low-cost textbooks is the most important service institutions can provide regarding the sale of textbooks.
  • 96% stated that textbook costs are impacting student retention and persistence 
  • Nearly all respondents indicated that textbook sales have been flat or down over the past three years.
  • Plus, much more

For a copy of the 2015 College CFO Survey on Textbook Delivery and Bookstore Services White Paper, go to http://info.akademos.com/cfo-survey-white-paper-2015 or click the button below. This White Paper is available at no charge.

Download Exclusive White Paper Now

To learn more about expanding affordable textbook options for students, our online bookstore services for colleges and universities, and to see how the Akademos solution can work for your institution, register today for a personalized 1:1 consultation.

Topics: Research

The Impact of Textbook Costs on Student Retention and Persistence

Posted by Jonathan Shar on May 13, 2015

 
“Colleges are scrutinized more than ever before over student outcomes”
Robert Pignatello, SVP of Finance and Administration at CUNY's John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The focus on student retention and persistence is growing in importance to college administrators as they try to improve graduation rates and decrease the loss of tuition revenue from students that either drop out or transfer to another school. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Center for Education Statistics, only 50% of those who enter higher education actually earn a bachelors degree. The reasons range from family problems and loneliness to academic struggles - and as the total cost of eduction has increased in the US, so has student attrition. 

In the 2015 College CFO Survey on Textbook Affordability and Bookstore Services, we asked participants if the increasing prices of textbooks played a role in student persistence and retention on their campus.  

96% of respondents indicated that the high cost of textbooks and course materials had an impact on student retention and persistence. This is up 8% from the study published in 2013, with respondants stating “Very Much” increasing by 13% in just two years. 

cfo_survey_retention_graphic_rev

Source: CFO survey on Textbook Delivery and Bookstore Services. Akademos, 2015.

The study indicates that reducing textbook costs can not only have a positve impact on student satisfaction, but may have a significant financial impact for colleges and universities by helping improve student completion and retaining more tution revenue.

“This was a big factor for us in terms of convincing our faculty to abandon the traditional brick and mortar store and move to a virtual (student savings) format," Pignatello noted on the webinar.  

To learn more about key trends and predictions on the future of textbook sales and campus bookstore services, the full presentation and recording of our "2015 College CFO Survey on Textbook Affordability and Bookstore Services” webinar session is now available for free download. 

Click here to request webinar materials

Topics: Webinars & Events, Research, Textbook Affordability

Why Textbook Rentals Are On The Rise

Posted by Jonathan Shar on May 11, 2015

Two years ago, Akademos published the first comprehensive survey of College CFOs regarding the future of college bookstore and textbook services and in an exclusive webinar held on April 29, released the preliminary findings of the 2015 follow-up study.

In both, participants were asked to estimate the breakdown of their bookstore's textbook sales.

The latest survey found that on average, new books still represent the largest % of textbook sales; however in just two years this percentage has declined significantly (now 38%, down from 52%) - with Rentals growing by more than 60% (from 14% to 23% in 2015).

rental_compSource: CFO Survey on Textbook Delivery and Bookstore Services. Akademos, 2015. 

In addition, in another survey question when asked about the importance various services to the "Future of your Bookstore"; 73% rated Rentals as "Very Important," up 26% from the 2013 study.

Textbook Rentals are clearly on the rise, but why and is it the most cost-conscious choice for students? Robert Pignatello, SVP of finance and Administration at CUNY’s John Jay college and Akademos CEO John Squires addressed this topic during the webinar.

“The net ownership cost of textbooks is a key consideration,” commented Squires.“Often, rentals have a lower up-front cost to the student but can be more expensive long term.”

Pignatello agreed, saying “we [college administrators] have an obligation to look at the total cost of ownership, and to help our students make the right choice. Often times, buying a used book and selling it will cost less than renting.” 

To learn more about key trends and predictions on the future of textbook sales and campus bookstore services, the full presentation and recording of our "2015 College CFO Survey on Textbook Affordability and Bookstore Services” webinar session is now available for free download. 

Click here to request webinar materials

Topics: Bookstore Sales, Research