Higher Education Textbooks: Student Watch Key Findings

As colleges and universities welcome students back to campus, it's a good time to revisit some of the findings from the National Association of College Stores' (NACS) Spring Study. Higher Education publishers are deep in the trenches, dealing with disruptions from Amazon, proliferation of digital distribution channels, and pricing transparency issues


From the National Association of College Stores. Used with permission.


In the Student Watch 2015 to 2016 Academic Year Report, NACS provides a number of useful attitudes and behavior toward course materials that should be interesting to higher ed publishers:

  • use of digital materials continued its slow and steady growth with 6 out of 10 students using at least one digital component during the fall 2015
  • 17% of students said they had not yet used a digital format during their college career
  • print is still the preferred textbook format
  • 26% prefer a print book with digital component
  • students spent an average of $602 on course materials during the year, compared with $563 last year
  • the campus store remains the top source for course materials purchases
  • the second most popular source for course materials is Amazon
  • the rentals market appears to have plateaued with about 40% of students renting at least one unit during both the fall 2014 and 2015 terms
  • during the spring 2016 term, rentals accounted for 24% of the units purchased and 17% of the dollars spent
  • convenience and lower cost remain the top reasons for acquiring digital

From the National Association of College Stores. Used with permission.


For more information and to grab a copy of the full report, click here.

Cenveo Publisher Services works with all types of educational publishers. From content creation to XML, we provide full-service editorial and production teams that include instructional designers, subject matter experts, editors, and writers. Whether it’s core textbook work or supplement creation and management, we can help.

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Mike Groth

Michael Groth is Director of Marketing at Cenveo Publisher Services, where he oversees all aspects of marketing strategy and implementation across digital, social, conference, advertising and PR channels. Mike has spent over 20 years in marketing for scholarly publishing, previously at Emerald, Ingenta, Publishers Communication Group, the New England Journal of Medicine and Wolters Kluwer. He has made the rounds at information industry events, organized conference sessions, presented at SSP, ALA, ER&L and Charleston, and blogged on topics ranging from market trends, library budgets and research impact, to emerging markets and online communities.. Twitter Handle: @mikegroth72