What’s more effortless than purchasing your textbooks through Akademos? Purchasing them with Apple Pay and Google Pay. Students can now use the cash that is already available in their digital wallet, a bank account, student ID card, or credit card with a simple touch.
Keeping your on-campus college bookstore prices down and sales revenue up is becoming more difficult with each passing year. As the traditional market for textbooks has shifted, many on-campus college stores have experienced a significant loss in sales and in some cases have stopped selling textbooks altogether.
Akademos has a unique vantage point in the market. Over the last 3 years, we reviewed the textbook sales data from a range of on-campus bookstores nationwide and found a median decrease of 19%. These trends are consistent over a wide variety of institution types (e.g. community colleges, liberal arts institutions, faith based institutions, etc.).
Recently, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette made headlines for a $1,000 eBook. The access code for an introductory accounting course was purposefully priced at almost 4x the cost of the printed textbook. Criticism of the university and publisher spread quickly over social media, accusing them of price manipulation and scamming students into more debt. UL-Lafayette’s response did not do much to assuage anger, causing much disbelief that the institution acted on “good intentions.” Even further providing fuel for the fire when the price of the digital version was changed to match the print version and not significantly lower like most digital texts.
My student loan balance is over $20,000. I don’t own a home, have kids, or go on vacations. I have too much credit card debt and not enough savings. I am 37. I am one of the 44 million Americans struggling with the financial hardships of getting a college degree, delaying and even refraining from participating in the life milestones that keep the economy functioning. Since the year 2000, the economy has gone through two recessions, wages of college grads continually decreased, lowering lifetime earning potential, and college costs steadily increased – the single largest increase in higher education costs is textbook prices.
In the coming weeks, millions of students will be returning to college and university campuses. The air will be full of excitement as existing students settle in for a new year and new students look forward to a new chapter. Dorms will fill up with boxes and suitcases and the quad will fill with tables representing campus activities and student organizations. Campus bookstores will offer extended hours as students search for their books and materials. These students will spend hundreds of dollars, some over a thousand, this semester alone. Increasingly, this spend will not occur inside the bookstore.
Over the past academic year, 16 institutions have chosen the Akademos virtual bookstore solution, lowering textbook prices for students and offering advanced tools for faculty.
16 colleges and universities have selected Akademos as their virtual bookstore services provider for the upcoming academic year. These partnerships highlight the growing trend for colleges and universities to prioritize textbook affordability and student academic success by moving to a virtual model for course materials.