September 25, 2018—Today, Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) announced that because a new agreement with Follett Higher Education Group, CSCU students saved over $4 million in textbooks in the 2017–2018 academic year.
Last August, CSCU negotiated a five-year agreement with Follett, to manage the 12 community college bookstores which included a $250,000 investment in campus bookstore upgrades, price matching, a $250,000 scholarship fund, and a 10 percent discount on new textbooks. Students saved approximately $3.3 million in used, rental and buy backs of textbooks and over $1 million as a result of the 10 percent discount on new books.
“We heard directly from students how the cost of books inhibits their ability to complete their coursework,” said CSCU President Mark Ojakian. “These books can cost hundreds of dollars and frequently are only used for one semester. Our goal is to keep our institutions accessible and affordable so in this instance we negotiated as a system and got the best deal for our students.”
Melissa Cote, a first year student at Asnuntuck, thinks the discounts and price matching are “great” and added that the “10 percent discount made it an easier decision when it came to keeping or selling back. I think it gives you a better option of purchasing books here.” Asnuntuck also upgraded their campus bookstore with the allocated funding from Follett.
Sage Maier, interim president of the Tunxis Student Government Association, said, “I knew what it was like to struggle financially. I always looked to save money when I could, especially when it came to buying books for school. I love the new price match to online vendors because I can receive the book in person right away.”
According to Manchester Community College Associate Professor of History Sarah Cieglo, “I have replaced supplementary readers in my World Civilization I and II courses with a combination of Open Educational Resources (OER) materials, and library database and e-book materials. There are a total of eight sections of World Civilization courses a year with about 35 students in a section and each supplementary reader was priced around $18. Those changes alone have resulted in close to $5,000 a year in student savings.”
“Follett is excited to be part of this important initiative at CSCU—accessibility and affordability is our key priority at Follett,” said Clay Wahl, president of Follett Higher Education Group.
Hartford Courant: CSCU Agreement with Follett Saves Students Millions On Textbooks
New Haven Register: Ojakian: Students saved $4 million on books last year under bookstore contract
NBC 30: Some State College Students to Get Break on Textbook Costs