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September 14, 2022 • 1 minute read
By: Mike Hale, Ph.D., Chief Learning and Content Officer

VitalSource has long been committed to increasing student success through easy access to affordable content. We also believe that if you can, you must improve learning for students and expand educational opportunities for all learners. Of course, we are not alone in this view and it is the reason many companies have built assessment-rich course materials. 

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Blog > Students Delaying or Avoiding Course Material Purchases; Grades Suffer as a Result

September 15, 2016 • 1 minute read

Students Delaying or Avoiding Course Material Purchases; Grades Suffer as a Result



Editor’s Note: This is the second of three posts on a recently-conducted research study commissioned by VitalSource.

At VitalSource, it is important for us to understand the wants, needs, attitudes and concerns of our users. To that end, we commission a yearly study to “take the temperature” of college students regarding technology used in their education.

According to the 2016 survey, the high cost of college, including textbooks, is causing students to make unreasonable sacrifices. More than ever, students are waiting to purchase required course materials until after the beginning of classes or not purchasing them at all, even though many know it is affecting their ability to succeed academically.

Putting Off Purchases and Negative Effects on Grades

  • 72% of students have waited to purchase course material until after the class
  • 27% have forgone purchases altogether
  • 89% cite cost as the reason for those decisions

Students indicate delaying or avoiding course material purchases has had a negative impact on their grades. Of the students who delayed purchases, 39% report making the purchases later in the semester as they realized they were needed to succeed in the class. Among the student group that delayed or avoided, 45% report less academic success.

Affordability and Bundling
The survey indicates students overwhelmingly favor colleges offering the option to purchase course materials as part of the tuition

  • 77% of students have an interest in rolling the cost of their materials into their tuition
  • 47% state their institution does not allow this currently
  • 17% did not know if they were afforded this option

Interested in a visual of these results?

Download our VitalSource Student Research Study - Students' Costs infographic by clicking on the button below.

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