Data: U.S. Students Using More Free Course Materials According to New College Stores Report
During the 2016-17 academic year, college students spent an average of $579 on 10 required course materials.
That’s down from $602 on 10 units the previous academic year, and $701 in 2007-08, according to Student Watch: Attitudes and Behaviors toward Course Materials: 2016-2017 Report, the National Association of College Stores’ (NACS) twice-yearly survey of college students in the U.S. and Canada. Students also reported spending an additional $506 on technology and school supplies.
Other highlights from the report, which compiled responses from more than 20,000 college students, include:
- Use of free materials is increasing: They’re borrowing, sharing, and downloading the materials needed for their classes. In spring 2017, 25% of students surveyed reported using a free method to obtain what they needed for class, up from 19% in spring 2016 and 15% in spring 2015.
- Students are opting to rent more; campus store the primary source: Forty-three percent of students rented at least one course material in fall 2016 compared to 40% in fall 2015. And, 57% of students who rented a course material, did so through the campus store.
- Campus store remains top source for course materials: In Fall 2016 students report that 82% of course materials were purchased from the campus store, 40% from Amazon, 8% from a peer/student, 7% from Chegg.com and 7% from a publisher website.
- New print format is most purchased: In fall 2016, when purchasing course materials, 74% of students reported buying new print, 70% bought used print, and 23% bought digital. Purchasing of digital materials increased by 8%.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.