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 5, 2019 | by Sara Erdos | in Online Bookstore

Bethel College Chooses Akademos as a Full-Service Online Platform to Offer Significant Cost Savings to Students

At the start of every term, college students are faced with the challenge of buying their textbooks and course materials, hopefully prior to the first day of class and without emptying their wallets. Unfortunately, many students will forgo buying their materials because of the high cost and uncertainty they will actually be used. Faculty and administration alike understand how important it is for students to be prepared with all materials on or before the first day of class and are making strides to assure barriers to purchase are removed.

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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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Inclusive Access: How It Impacts University Revenue and Student Success

Prior to the Internet and eCommerce capabilities, college students had limited choices when it came to obtaining their textbooks: they either bought textbooks and course materials from the campus bookstore or they went without, the latter a somewhat unlikely choice given the relative affordability of textbooks in the past.

Fast forward to more recent history and, while most students can still buy from the campus bookstore, off-campus retailers like Amazon, eBay, and other platforms have captured more and more textbook sales by offering students lower prices and more convenient shopping options.

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July 9, 2019 | by Kelly Johnston |

How Many Hours Does It Take To Work Off College Tuition?

Why paying your way through college is a thing of the past.

As the presidential debates kick off, everyone is talking about the big issues leading up to the 2020 election. The largest economic issue is one that is becoming impossible to ignore -  the student loan debt crisis. The newest study by Textbookrush.com has provided further proof that for most students, coming out of school debt free is a thing of the past. Forty years ago, a student attending college could pay for their tuition and housing by simply working a part time job, something that is impossible to accomplish today.

The number of hours required to work in order to cover education costs has skyrocketed due to the rising costs of education and the decline of wages compared to inflation. Over the past forty years, the cost of tuition and housing has increased over 250% while the cost of textbooks rose over 1000%. In this time, the value of the minimum wage has declined fairly steadily since its peak in 1968 and possibly even more unsettling - the federal minimum wage has not changed in over ten years. The following illustrates how many hours a student would need to work at minimum wage to pay for their education.

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The Burden of Course Material Costs

Textbook prices are on the rise and students realize that not obtaining the required course materials will affect their academic performance. There are many financial burdens students face while in college and they sometimes have to choose between purchasing textbooks or paying for food, rent, or other everyday necessities. While many colleges are working to utilize more OER (Open Educational Resources) as course material, the availability is limited for more advanced level courses. Lower cost alternatives are being provided more and more from publishers, but most of the time students don't utilize the same publishers across their various classes and students end up sharing textbooks, making copies of chapters, or just not acquiring the materials at all.

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