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Working with campus partners to create the optimal campus store experience

Custom solutions from Follett make course materials more affordable and accessible
University Business, September 2015
Clay Wahl
Clay Wahl

Follett Higher Education Group continues to meet the needs of campus communities by staying on the pulse of what professors adopt and how college students acquire course materials, as well as on the latest classroom technologies and other retail environments. We translate these insights into custom operating plans that transform the campus retail experience. Leveraging Follett’s market leadership presence and expertise in education and retail, we are uniquely capable of delivering the right solutions and products to drive not only access and affordability but also student success. Everyone is talking about affordability and access on campuses these days. Follett is a well-known leader in the campus store industry, recognized for connecting students and faculty with what they need to be successful.

How has Follett responded to concerns about affordability and access?
Today, more than one-third of students do not purchase all of their required textbooks, often due to cost. And only 28 percent of students come to the first day of class with all the required materials. With these insights in mind, Follett developed includED ®, a program that allows colleges and universities to bundle the cost of course materials into tuition and fees at a deep discount. The breadth of our network and publisher relationships enables us to negotiate significant discounts that are then passed on to students. Students love includED because of the convenience and the cost savings. Faculty love includED because students come to the first day of class with all the required materials, ready to engage and learn.

What other observations about accessibility are influencing the way Follett serves customers?
School leaders are focused on keeping course material costs as low as possible to increase access, and renting is by far the cheapest route to go for students. Follett boasts the industries’ largest rental library, saving students almost $1 billion since the program launched in 2010. In addition to substantial cost savings, Follett’s rental program also permits students to highlight and take notes in their rented texts just as they would with a book they owned. Driving access to our full assortment of affordable course material options, Follett Discover empowers faculty to research, discover and adopt course materials within the school’s learning management system (LMS), which then enables students to view, access and purchase textbooks in a seamless and integrated way. Follett Discover supports student savings by providing immediate and full exposure to new, used, rental and digital options all in one convenient place, the LMS. The tool also promotes access by eliminating the need for students to remember different publisher platforms and passwords. Faculty love this feature because they can focus on teaching, rather than serving as tech support.

The campus community is evolving dramatically. How is support evolving to keep pace?
Observing the evolution of the campus and shifting customer expectations, we continue to progress and expand our products and store services to fulfill changing student and staff needs. We are offering café and food services, including local food truck programs, as well as robust convenience aisles that feature healthy food options. We carry extensive selections of technology hardware and software and offer repair and trade-in services. Follett campus stores supply the unique mix of products and services your campus community needs to succeed in and out of the classroom.

For more information, visit www.Follett.com/fms

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