Demand for College Course Materials Shifted as Campuses Reopened

Press Release
Jan 19, 2022

Rockville MD, January 19, 2022 – Heading into the fall 2021 semester, providers of higher educational instructional resources and services saw significant improvement as campuses reopened for on-campus learning.


One driver of the more positive environment was the continued uptake of inclusive access. Campuses and students increasingly embraced the digital-resource subscription service as a means of getting necessary resources on the first day of classes, according to The State of College Course Materials 2021-2023, a new report from Simba Information.


Publishers and bookstore operators credited inclusive access programs for significant increases in sales in fall 2021 as campuses reopened. Barnes & Noble Education, for instance said revenue generated by its First Day inclusive access offering grew 80% in the quarter ended October 30, 2021, compared to the same quarter in 2020.


Still, the instructional materials industry is confronting new realities in the postsecondary market, Simba found. One of those factors is the declining enrollment in traditional postsecondary education institutions, compounded by a decline in the birth rate.


As important is the burgeoning interest by high school graduates in skills-related programs instead of the traditional four-year college degree.


While Simba Information expects sales of course materials to return to growth in 2022, with a projected 1.3% increase in overall sales of new course materials, Simba also expects sales of course materials to be flat over the next couple of years as institutions and students continue to work in a pandemic-infused environment and the market adjusts to shifting demand from students and businesses.


The main points that Simba Information considered in making its projections about the higher education instructional materials market opportunity were:


  • declining student population
  • expanding postsecondary options for learning/training for employment
  • the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on student attendance and course formats


For more information on Simba’s new report, The State of College Course Materials 2021-2023, visit:

or call  (US): 888.297.4622 (Int): +1.240.747.3091

Research Specialist

Sylvester Rochea


About Simba Information
Simba Information
 is widely recognized as the leading authority for market intelligence in the media and publishing industry. Simba's extensive information network delivers top quality, independent perspective on the people, events and alliances shaping the media and information industry. Simba publishes newsletters and research reports that provide key decision-makers at more than 15,000 client companies around the globe with timely news, analysis, exclusive statistics and proprietary industry forecasts. For more information, please visit

Int'l: +1.240.747.3091
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