‘Inclusive Access’ Takes Off

"Major education publishers -- including Pearson, Cengage and McGraw-Hill Education -- report that the number of colleges offering 'inclusive-access' programs has grown rapidly in recent years. Where previously students might have been assigned textbooks individually, now many institutions are signing up whole classes of students to automatically receive digital course materials at a discounted rate, rather than purchasing individually," Inside Higher Ed reports.

"The 'inclusive' aspect of the model means that every student has the same materials on the first day of class, with the charge included as part of their tuition.

For publishers with struggling print businesses, the inclusive-access model is a lifeline. Tim Peyton, vice president of strategic partnerships at Pearson, said it was no secret that publishers like Pearson had made textbooks too expensive and had seen sales drop as a result. 'The print model is really a broken business model for us,' he said, adding, 'we’re thinking about how to move away from print, and move towards digital.'

Pearson’s inclusive-access business is growing quickly, said Peyton. 'Since the beginning of 2016, which is when we launched a repeatable and scalable model around inclusive access, we’ve signed agreements with over 200 institutions,' he said.

Scott Virkler, chief product officer at McGraw-Hill Education, said that the publisher had also seen 'significant growth' in inclusive access, with its customer base doubling in the last year. Lori Hales, senior vice president of institutional partnerships at Cengage, said that Cengage, too, has seen rapid expansion in this space. The publisher currently works with more than 275 institutions and expects its revenue from inclusive access to double this fiscal year, said Hales."

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Publication Date: 11/8/2017

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