The Impact of Textbook Affordability on Student Retention and Persistence

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. 2015 College CFO Survey on Textbook Affordability and Bookstore Services

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.

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