Ashland University Looks at Student Textbook Affordability

Ashland University Looks at Student Textbook Affordability

5/23/19 ASHLAND, Ohio – Over the past year, the Ashland University Campus Store has undergone a change in leadership and the new manager, Amanda Brown, is putting an emphasis on better meeting the needs and wants of Ashland University students.

A top priority for the store is to improve the options for students to purchase their course materials, which will not only improve efficiency of purchasing but also improve affordability of course materials.

Projects in the works to achieve these goals include the redesigning of the website, which provides students greater ease of reserving their text online; improving and expanding the rental program in order to lower rental book prices; increasing the stock of used books carried by the Campus Store to be able to offer used textbooks to more students; and creating two textbook scholarships for students who participate in the buyback program.

“The biggest effort to improve affordability is the implementation of the All-Inclusive Course Materials Packages, which offer students the ability to access digital course materials on or before the first day of class,” said Brown, who took over as store manager in June of 2018. “The All-Inclusive Packages also allow students to easily access digital materials through Blackboard, and can be significantly less expensive than traditional course materials.”

Brown added that these All-Inclusive Packages frequently include study tools such as flashcards, bookmarks and collaborations to enrich the students’ study experience.

Below is a table with a sample of four courses currently offered and the prices for the All-Inclusive Option and the Traditional Text Option for price comparison.

Class

All-Inclusive Price

Publisher Retail Price

Savings

CHEM 103 (Fall 2018)

$71.46

$226.10

$154.64

PHIL 210 (Fall 2018)

$87.94

$152

$64.06

ACCT 201 (Spring 2019)

$119.80

241.40

$121.60

SOC 202 A (Spring 2019)

$26.07

$173.40

$147.33

 

“Each semester the Campus Store is working with all academic departments to increase the number of courses that offer All-Inclusive Packages,” Brown said. She noted that in the fall of 2018, there were 16 courses offered through the All-Inclusive Packages, while in spring semester of 2019 this increased to 41 courses with that option available.

The Ashland University Campus Store estimates that if all 620 students who enrolled in one of the 41 spring 2019 courses that offered an All-Inclusive Package had opted to purchase the All-Inclusive option, it would have provided a potential savings of $68,049.

Brown said the All-Inclusive Packages also improve the ease of payment for course materials as the package is billed to each student’s university account.

“The online platforms also provide professors with rich analytics to better understand their students’ progress and engagement,” she said. “As the Ashland University Campus Store continues to improve its offerings for Ashland University students, we recommend that students stop in and ask questions as the staff is excited to talk about these goals and improvements.”

Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, comprehensive private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Religiously affiliated with the Brethren Church, Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###