Eric Choi

Recent Posts

Supporting College Students 24/7: Akademos’ Expanded Customer Experience Program

Visit any college dorm room in America and it becomes obvious: students don’t operate on a typical 9-5 schedule.

Instead, they’re active at all hours, and this impacts everything from when they eat to when they study and even how they shop for course materials for their classes. While most people shop online at 8pm on Monday, students may be in prime textbook buying mode at 5am on a Sunday, accommodating their social, work, and class schedule.

To help students easily find and choose the right course materials at any time, Akademos has implemented a number of customer support programs to make getting the right course materials easier and quicker than ever before.

There’s no better team member than Akademos’ Senior Customer Experience Manager, Ben Plunkett, who has been delivering stellar customer experiences for students since 2014, to explain the improvements he and his team have implemented, what it means for students, and how it helps universities support their students.

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August 1, 2019 | by Eric Choi | in College Bookstore

Guaranteed Online Buyback: Akademos’ Program for Textbook Pricing Transparency

At the end of each school term, students experience plenty of stress while they study for exams, secure internships, move out of student housing, and await final grades. However, for many students, anxiety also builds over how much money they will receive for their textbooks during buybacks.

While exams and final grades are part of college life, textbook buybacks have often led to frustration and disappointment as students are surprised by the buyback value of their textbooks, oftentimes receiving pennies on the dollar of the original prices.

After speaking extensively with students and school administrators alike about buyback programs, we recognized that, not only are they a common frustration for students and universities, there’s an important factor that has gone largely overlooked:

Student estimates of future buyback prices influence when and how they obtain their course materials.

As the initial decision around textbooks occurs long before the buyback process ever begins, students cannot accurately estimate future buyback prices. This lack of transparency has left students in the dark over whether to buy used, new, or rent their materials. Some students, concerned over a potentially low or altogether absent buyback value, may even wait until later in the semester to purchase, impacting their performance and learning.

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The Pace of Technological Change is Accelerating in the Course Materials Landscape

As our world grows increasingly more digital, we find that the pace of technological advancement continues to accelerate. We’re at the start of a Fourth Industrial Revolution according to Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, and we’ve arrived at the start of this new age in less than half the time it took for the Third Industrial Revolution to occur.

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April 25, 2019 | by Eric Choi | in Partnerships

Los Angeles Pacific University and Akademos Partner to Support Accessibility and Textbook Affordability

In a world where time is a commodity and the rate of inflation for education expenses has far surpassed that of health care, the idea of a traditional college experience is taking on a new dimension. The erratic economy over the past two decades has dictated the need for low-cost and innovative alternatives to higher education. This need coupled with the rise of a digital world has bred a college experience that can be specialized and completed from anywhere. Online programs allow students the opportunity to participate in class and complete coursework when it fits their schedule and at a price that is increasingly more affordable. More than three million students in the U.S. are currently pursuing a degree entirely online. This number is only expected to grow as student interest increases, institutions expand their online offerings, and employer acceptance of an online degree rises.

In an effort to make online education more affordable, we have seen an increase in accredited online-only universities. Los Angeles Pacific University (LAPU) was built to provide a best-in-class online university - making it their mission to remove the barriers to affordability and accessibility with a high-quality, faith-integrated education that is intentionally accessible, career-relevant, and committed to student success. Backed by over a century of experience in providing superior on-ground educational opportunities with Azusa Pacific University, LAPU is taking online education to the next level.

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April 19, 2019 | by Eric Choi | in New Bookstore Models

What’s Causing the Decline in Campus Bookstore Sales?

The other weekend, I stopped by the local mall for the first time in well over a year, and I noticed a few surprising changes. For one, it was past lunch hour, yet the food court was still packed - and not everyone was eating. Many were simply using the space as a place to hang out.

Another thing that surprised me was that the mall still had a Barnes & Noble, although it had very little foot traffic, especially for a weekend. Inside, half the store appeared to be your typical Barnes & Noble that I remembered - books and magazines; but the other half of the store was dedicated to toys, games, and gifts.

I realized that what’s happening at the mall as well as Barnes & Noble mirrors what’s happening with many campus bookstores at colleges and universities. Call me Captain Obvious, but it’s pretty apparent that both the mall and campus bookstore need to evolve in order to survive - becoming more of a multi-purpose destination to not just shop, but to meet, eat, and socialize.

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