State of College Course Materials - Market Research, Industry Trends, Market Share


Published: 10/01/2019
Pages: 70
Full Study Price: US$ 1,600

Historically, the higher education publishing industry has sold instructors on using their textbooks/courseware for courses and then relied on the instructors to tell students they need to acquire those specific materials for the course. That has changed in some ways in recent years as students have turned directly to publishers’ ecommerce sites to acquire course materials, particularly digital tools. Cengage drove further change in 2018 when it introduced Cengage Unlimited, a subscription model that students could use to acquire materials for multiple courses.

Publishers are promoting inclusive access—first-day digital delivery of course materials—to increase access and address affordability issues. While trying to create a sustainable and successful business model, publishers—and the institutions themselves—are striving to address an underlying need: help students successfully complete their courses and navigate their college careers.

Enrollment trends always have been a critical factor in evaluating sales opportunities in the U.S. higher education market. Those trends have not been particularly positive in recent years. But it also is necessary to recognize that the general portrait of the modern college student is far from traditional with a significant shift to older working adults. Students increasingly are focused on attaining job-skills as opposed to a more rounded education. The cost of that education hovers over the student experience.

While there are changes in what constitutes a typical college student today, recent high school graduates continue to constitute most of the incoming college students.

Each year brings a change to the cultural touchstones of incoming first-year students, as the annual Beloit College Mindset List has demonstrated over the years. This year, that list has been taken over by Marist College. Excerpts from the list are in this report.

One of the key life-markers for the entering first-year students in the Class of 2023 in the fall of 2019 is that 9/11 is an historical event, just as Pearl Harbor is for their grandparents and the Kennedy assassination is for their parents.

Born in 2001, incoming first-year students are more likely to rent, not buy their textbooks, according to the Marist Mindset List. By their sophomore year (2020-2021), their generation will constitute one-quarter of the U.S. population.

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Table Of Contents

  • Methodology
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
    • Table The Marist Mindset List, Selected Facts for the Class of 2023
  • Market Size & Structure
    • Institution Types and Numbers
      • For-Profit/Nonprofit Split among Private Institutions
        • Table Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions, 2017-2018
      • Two-Year vs. Four-Year
      • Institutional Closure and Consolidation
    • Where Students Are Enrolled
      • Table U.S. Undergraduate Enrollment by Characteristics, Fall 2000, 2010, 2017
      • Student Demographics
      • Tackling Enrollment Issues in California and Ohio
      • For-Profits Work on Improving Their Position
        • Table Simba Information Career College Enrollment Index
      • The Appeal of Distance Education
        • Table Undergraduate Enrollment in Distance Education Courses, Fall 2017 v. Fall 2016
    • Degrees by the Numbers
      • Table Certificate/Associate/ Bachelor's Degrees Awarded, 2016-2017 vs. 1999-2000
    • Degrees of Choice
      • Table Associate and Bachelor's Degrees Awarded in 2016-2017 and Change from 2015-2016
      • Programs of Choice Online
  • Policy & Funding
    • Introduction
    • Costs of Attending College in 2018-2019
      • Table Undergraduate Tuition and Fees, 2018-2019 vs. 2017-2018
    • Federal Education Budget
      • Table Selected Appropriations for Postsecondary Education, FY 2019 – FY 2020P ($ in 000 except for Max Pell Grant, which is actual; P=projected)
    • HEA Heads Federal Policy Initiatives
    • Continuing Shift in Federal Regulations
      • Gainful Employment Repealed
      • Accreditation Oversight Eased
      • Protecting Student Borrowers
    • State Support for Higher Education
      • Table State Fiscal Support for Higher Education, FY2019 vs. FY2018 (Fiscal 2019 is July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019; $ in 000; ranked by % change)
      • Free-Tuition Programs Continue to Spread
        • Table Extent of Tuition-Free Programs across the States
      • Colorado Contributes to College Savings
    • Workforce Development
      • New Apprenticeship Legislation in New Jersey
      • Wyoming Helps Adult Students
      • Trump Administration Proposes Apprenticeship Rules
        • Table Scaling Apprenticeship Grant Awards, 2019
  • Course Materials
    • Introduction
    • Student Spending on Course Materials Declines Again
      • Texas Changes Approach to Developmental Courses
        • Table Key Takeaways for Developmental Education Among the States
      • Michigan Adjusts College Algebra
    • Publishers Step up New Strategies in H1 2019
      • Table Higher Education and University Presses Sales, H1 2019 vs. H1 2018 ($ in 000)
      • Segmenting Industry Sales
        • Table Sales by Segment of Key College Course Materials 2017-2019P ($ in 000,000)
      • The Changing Circumstances of Print Textbooks
    • Publishers Work to Change Landscape
      • Table Simba Information's Leading College Publishers by Higher Education Revenue, 2018 vs. 2017 ($ in 000,000)
      • New Digital Focus at Pearson
        • Table Simba Information's Leading College Publishers by Revenue, H1 2019 vs. H1 2018 ($ in 000)
      • Cengage Focus: Affordability, Accelerating Digital
      • McGraw-Hill Education Drives up Digital Billings
        • Table Publishers' U.S. Higher Education Digital Metrics, H1 2019
      • Wiley Reorganizes Education Businesses
    • OER Solidifies Participation in College Market
      • McGraw-Hill Introduces Open Learning Solutions
      • OpenStax Increases Penetration
    • Alternative Course Materials & Tools Initiatives
      • SUNY Expands OER
      • Online Homework
      • AI Author
    • M&A Activity Points to Industry Shifts
      • Table Simba Information's Higher Education Merger & Acquisition Index, H1 2019
  • Distribution
    • Introduction
    • Where Students Acquire Course Materials
      • Table Where Students Purchase Course Materials, 2019 vs. 2018
    • Bookstores Shift from Sales to Service
      • Chegg Services Surge
      • Digital Student Solutions Is key to B&N Ed Future
      • Follett Expands Inclusive Access Program
    • Publishers' Growing Role in Sales & Distribution
      • Rental and Other Approaches
      • Building with Inclusive Access
      • Pearson Shifts Higher Education Strategy
        • Table Publishers and Inclusive Access Initiatives, 2019
    • Postscript: Wither California