Press Center > VitalSource Day-One Access Programs Saved Students Nearly $70 Million in the 2022-23 Academic Year

August 8, 2023

VitalSource Day-One Access Programs Saved Students Nearly $70 Million in the 2022-23 Academic Year


Annual report highlights trends in student buying habits and course material delivery models

 RALEIGH, NC – New data shows that students saved nearly $70 million during the 2022-23 school year through VitalSource-powered day-one course materials access programs, almost $20 million more than the previous year. The new data was released as part of VitalSource’s latest Annual Course Materials Report, a snapshot of higher education market trends, course material delivery model adoption, and student buying habits. The data was collected anonymously from VitalSource’s content management and learning platform services.

View the 2023 report here.  

While the course materials landscape has changed, our longstanding core belief at VitalSource has not: giving students convenient, affordable learning materials results in success across campus,” said Kent Freeman, Chief Executive Officer for VitalSource. “As long-time leaders in the course materials market, this report aims to share our insights on the state of the market with our partners and industry leaders.” 

Day-one access programs like Inclusive Access (IA) and the newer Equitable Access (EA) provide students with access to their course materials by the first day of class through the campus Learning Management System (LMS). IA programs function on a course-by-course basis, and the EA model provides every student, regardless of their major, with all of their required learning materials for the entire term for one low, flat rate.  

VitalSource’s Annual Course Materials Report documents how low etext prices helped fuel nearly $70 million dollars in student savings through IA and EA programs last year. Between courseware and etext, the average student savings off the digital list price was 23%.  

Other key findings highlighted in the report include:  

  • For the first time, students purchased more digital course materials than used print. Sales of digital materials have grown steadily over the last decade, from 1% of the market in 2013 to 26% in 2023.  Combined, new and digital sales represent two-thirds of the market compared to used/rental materials.  
  • The learning management system (LMS) is becoming a critical point of sale. The number of students purchasing their materials directly through their LMS more than doubled in the last year, and approximately half of LMS-based purchases are digital. 
  • Inclusive Access (IA) opt-out rates have leveled off - but students are still highly influenced by convenience. When access codes are required, opt-out rates are six times higher than when no code is required for purchase.  
  • The emerging evidence on Equitable Access (EA) is compelling. Powered by VitalSource, Appalachian State’s award-winning, digital-first textbook program features a 99% participation rate and saved students more than $5 million in the last year alone by offering a per-semester cost hundreds of dollars below the North Carolina system average ($260 vs. $1,100). 

 The report notes that many campuses run IA programs for several years before expanding to EA. While EA adoption is currently growing at a faster rate in the non-independent campus store sector, the success of trailblazing programs like those at Appalachian State University and one at University of California, Davis have laid the groundwork for how EA can work on independent store campuses.  

A longtime leader in the education industry, VitalSource’s products and technologies, including the leading learning platform, Bookshelf®, are used by more than 18 million learners worldwide every year. Verba by VitalSource powers more than 300 independent college stores with a suite of industry leading products that has grown to meet the changing needs of campus stores. Earlier this year, VitalSource acquired Akademos, advancing its mission to make learning accessible and affordable for students everywhere, and solidifying VitalSource’s position as a leading curriculum delivery and learning platform provider. 

To download the Annual Course Materials Report, click here. To learn more about VitalSource, visit 

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About VitalSource 

VitalSource Technologies, LLC is the leading education technology solutions provider committed to helping partners create, deliver, and distribute affordable, accessible, and impactful learning experiences worldwide. As a recognized innovator in the digital course materials market, VitalSource is best known for partnering with thousands of publishers and resellers to deliver extraordinary learning experiences to millions of active users globally—and today we’re also powering new, cutting-edge technologies designed to optimize teaching and learning for maximum results. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. 

Media Contact

Erin McCarthy, VitalSource