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

Juniata College partners with Akademos to launch online bookstore and deliver students significant discounts on course materials

Posted by Ariane Rasmussen on March 13, 2017

Juniata's new online bookstore will increase textbook affordability and drive student success.

Akademos, Inc. is pleased to announce that Juniata College, a private liberal arts college located in the scenic mountains in central Pennsylvania, has selected Akademos as its online bookstore provider to improve student success and increase textbook affordability.  The College has a strong reputation for excellent academics, personal attention, and state-of-the-art technological resources and is recognized for its distinctive focus on experience and excellent outcomes in Lauren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives.

Starting with summer term 2017, Juniata students can shop for textbooks and course materials in the money saving format of their choice and place orders anytime, anywhere, from any device. The new school-sanctioned virtual bookstore platform will provide students with a wider selection of course materials to choose from – including new, used, marketplace, rental and eBook formats – dramatically expanding students’ access to lower cost course materials.Juniata Logo.jpg

The next-generation Akademos virtual course materials store will give students and faculty complete visibility throughout the textbook purchasing and adoption process. Juniata’s student information system (SIS) 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.

Akademos’ exclusive marketplace offers over 100 million new and used textbooks for students to choose from with the average student saving 60% off the list price. At the end of each term, students will have the option to sell back their textbooks through the Akademos peer-to-peer marketplace to recoup some of their cost.

“We are confident that transitioning to a personalized, school-sanctioned virtual bookstore with a marketplace that offers students more competitive pricing on course materials is the right decision for Juniata,” said James A. Troha, President of Juniata College. “Partnering with Akademos closely aligns with our strategic plan, Courage to Act. Our goal is to give our students access to the best resources available to help them grow and thrive as individuals who think deeply and care deeply about their community.”

Aligning with Juniata’s educational approach of collaborative student-faculty relationships, Juniata faculty will be able to use advanced adoptions and analytics tools to help drive student and institutional success through the adoption of lower-cost, high-quality materials. 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.

“Our unique and innovative full-service bookstore solution aligns closely with Juniata’s reputation for collaborative student-faculty relationships and state-of-the-art technologies,” said John Squires, Akademos Chief Executive Officer. “What we have seen with other institutions is that a greater selection of materials in different formats, including marketplace options, leads to reduced course material costs – which results in greater access to learning materials and an increase in student preparedness and academic success.”

Leveraging Akademos’ state-of-the-art virtual bookstore platform for course materials will enable Juniata’s current brick and mortar store to transition to a full-service general merchandise campus store.  This new hybrid bookstore model will allow Juniata to use the space previously dedicated to textbooks and course materials to now offer a wider selection of spirit wear, supplies and other merchandise to better serve its community.

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

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

The City University of New York selects Akademos as its exclusive online bookstore provider

Posted by Ariane Rasmussen on February 2, 2017

Utilizing innovative eCommerce service, CUNY colleges will offer students significant textbook savings while enabling faculty to easily evaluate and adopt all course materials

Final CUNY logo.jpgThe City University of New York, the nation’s leading urban public university, has partnered with Akademos to provide online bookstore services that will give students access to a vast selection of low-cost textbooks along with a convenient, personalized ordering experience.  

Students from twelve CUNY colleges will be able to shop for textbooks in new, used, rental and eBook formats from any device using a custom-branded version of the mobile-optimized Akademos online bookstore.  Students using Akademos’ proprietary peer-to-peer marketplace of over 100 million new and used textbooks will save an average of 60% off the list price of their course materials.

“Governor Cuomo has announced an important initiative to make CUNY’s two- and four-year colleges tuition-free for many of New York’s middle class families. The partnership between CUNY and Akademos will further the Governor’s goal of affordability by addressing the rising cost of textbooks, a challenge CUNY students have been facing for some time,” said CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken.

Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost Vita Rabinowitz added: “Our experience shows that students who purchase their textbooks are more likely to succeed in their courses of study.  I am delighted that we are addressing this textbook affordability barrier while helping all CUNY students. Our students and faculty have responded well to the value and service Akademos already provides four of our colleges, and we are pleased to extend this service to additional CUNY colleges.” 

After a competitive vetting and bidding process, CUNY selected Akademos as its exclusive vendor for online bookstore services.  Akademos currently serves Queens College, John Jay College, Medgar Evers College and CUNY School of Law.  Over the next year, eight additional CUNY colleges will transition to Akademos service, including: Hunter College, Brooklyn College, City College, Bronx Community College, Hostos Community College, York College, School of Professional Studies, and Guttman Community College.  Thereafter, remaining CUNY colleges may select and utilize Akademos’ services if they wish.

“We are thrilled that CUNY selected Akademos as its exclusive online bookstore provider,” said John Squires, Akademos CEO.  “We are eager to work with CUNY colleges to help lower the cost of learning materials, by providing students new low-cost choices from our broad supply of providers.  In addition, our advanced faculty adoption software and curriculum consulting services will aid faculty in selecting innovative, high-quality materials for instruction that may further reduce costs for CUNY students and support the educational mission of the colleges.”

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

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

New Survey shows that the high cost of college textbooks continues to undermine student success

Posted by Ariane Rasmussen on January 31, 2017

University of West Florida survey reveals that textbook affordability continues to be a key determining factor in student preparedness and academic success.

The results of a recently released survey, “2016 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey Report” conducted by the Office of Distance Learning and Student Services of the University of West Florida’s Virtual Campus, shows that the high costs of college textbooks and course materials continues to undermine student access, student preparedness and academic succesUWF Survey Picture.pngs.

Out of the 22,000+ Florida students surveyed, over half of them (66.6 %) said they did not purchase the required textbooks for their courses because they were too costly. A lack of access to affordable course materials led to a decrease in student preparedness for courses with 57.4 percent of UWF students saying they either failed a course or earned a poor grade because they couldn’t afford to purchase the required textbooks (37.6% earned a poor grade; 19.8% failed a course).

Similarly, a nationwide 2016 survey conducted on behalf of Akademos (see our College Student Survey Results Exclusive White Paper) found that 39% of the students surveyed have taken a course without the required materials because they’re too expensive and 40% of them indicated that they only purchase “some or none” of their required course materials. In addition, 60% of these students said they think they would have performed better in their courses if they’d only had the required materials.

The UWF survey also suggested that time to graduation is being negatively impacted by a lack of access to affordable textbooks with 47.6% of students reporting that they “occasionally or frequently” take fewer courses because of it; 45.5% do not register for a course at all; 26.1% drop a course and 20.7% withdraw from courses. The Akademos nationwide survey found that 12% of students opted not to register for a class or dropped a class due to high course materials costs. Fewer classes equal a longer road to graduation and a decrease in college and university completion rates.

Another interesting conclusion drawn from the UWF survey is that financial aid coverage for textbook costs has actually gone down since their 2012 survey; 70.7% of students reported that they received financial aid in Spring 2016 in contrast to 75% of students in 2012. The survey also revealed that out of the 70.7 percent of students receiving financial aid, approximately one-third of them (29.2%) reported that their financial aid covered “none” of their textbooks costs.

According to the 2016 Akademos student survey, over half of students report being “dissatisfied” or “extremely dissatisfied” with the cost of textbooks at their institution. With the high prices of course materials at the forefront of student minds, it’s important for institutions to offer their students greater access to lower cost options at their school-sanctioned bookstore. For a resource on solutions for college bookstores that addresses textbook affordability, accessibility and student success, click here to request our exclusive Future-Proof Your College Bookstore eBook.

Request the exclusive eBook

To request more information visit info.akademos.com/learn-more

Topics: Textbook Affordability, Academic Success, Textbook Accessibility