Highlights outlined in their press release include (NACS):
- Students estimate spending $655 (down from $667) on required course materials within the past twelve months. An average of 57% is spent at the college store either in store or online.
- Prior to the start of the term, the majority of students (47%) go to their physical campus bookstore or to their campus bookstore’s web site to find information about which required course materials they need for class.
- Approximately 67%--up from 57% of students report regularly (“often” and “always”) comparison shopping for required course materials.
- Students indicated that the most important factor when deciding if they will purchase required course materials for a class is the price of the course materials. In previous studies the two most important factors were linked to the class itself - the extent to which there are assignments, exams, or in-class work based on the course materials and whether the class falls within their major of study—these have now fallen to the second and third most important factors.
- Interestingly, given the importance of price, most students rarely or never consider the cost of course materials when deciding on a career, major, or which courses to take.
- Students rated the confidence they are getting the lowest possible price as the most important factor when considering where to purchase their required course materials.
- If students decided not to purchase their required course materials, the top three reasons selected were price (22%), didn’t want it/didn’t think they would need it (19%), and already owned the textbook/materials (17%).
- Of students who say they have purchased required course materials from an online source within the past 12 months, approximately 23% (up from 19%) say they experienced a delay in expected order delivery.
- Approximately 24% (up from 18%) of students wait until after classes begin to purchase their required course materials. Only 13% of students purchase their required course materials a month or more before classes start.
- Approximately 20% of students reported renting textbooks for the fall 2011 term.
- Seventeen percent of students own an eReader device. Of those owners, 39% purchased it for school use.
- The most common ways students are accessing digital/electronic textbooks include purchasing a pin code or access code at the college or university bookstore (57%—up from 51% in 2010) purchasing an e-text directly from a publisher (42%) and accessing electronically through a course management system or professor web site (e.g., WebCT, Blackboard) (34%--down from 42%).
- According to students, professors utilizing required course materials continues to decline—to 75% from 79% in 2010, and 81% in 2008.
- Fifty-six percent of students use a smart phone as their primary mobile phone.
Student WatchTM Student Attitudes and Perceptions:Linking Course Materials to the Connected College Student A Comprehensive Analysis on Textbooks and Course Materials, 2012