Bundling the cost of textbooks with tuition, also known as Equitable Access, is on the rise across higher education institutions. Read about why this idea isn’t new, how it aligns with the lifestyle and expectations of today’s students, and how you can customize a program that meets your needs and your school’s timeline.
A First-Day Access model isn't new.
You may hear that Equitable Access is new, but when it comes to this idea, the reality is - it’s not a new concept at all. The vast majority of primary and secondary schools (grades K-12) have always given textbooks to students on the first day of classes, but for some reason or another, the second students graduated high school, they needed to navigate the textbook landscape and figure things out on their own.
Data is showing that Equitable Access can lead to higher course completion rates, so why not eliminate the barrier by providing the costs of textbooks into the cost of tuition?
Consider what the impact would be for low-income and first-generation students in particular. Providing textbooks to the whole student body as part of their tuition would immediately level the playing field in this regard.
Today’s students grew up in a subscription-based lifestyle.
Most of the Fall 2023 incoming freshmen were born between 2004 and 2005. To put that into perspective, Netflix began streaming in 2007 when they were just two or three years old, and both Stitchfix and Spotify came to the scene in the U.S. in 2011 when they were six or seven.
For the 35+ crowd, it’s easy to remember owning a walkman, printing MapQuest directions, and renting a movie from Blockbuster, but for the incoming freshmen and college-age students convenience, subscriptions, and bundling were a part of their childhood. Are we out of touch by not bundling textbooks with tuition?
Stand out against the noise.
With enrollment across colleges still down (but looking closer to pre-pandemic levels), your institution must stand out among the thousands of choices students have today. Removing the unknown costs of college, creating price transparency, and ensuring students are prepared for class on day one with the materials they need to succeed can make your institution appeal to both students and parents.
Equitable Access is flexible.
Transitioning the entire student body to Equitable Access might feel daunting, but customizing it to fit your students on your timeline with flexible options is possible. Check out how these three institutions customized equitable access programs to fit their needs.
It’s not a question of whether or not Equitable Access will continue to expand, the question is whether you’re ready to take the first step and start the conversation now.