Focus on cost savings will result in $3 million in annual savings to students
INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College has announced a new contract agreement with Follett Higher Education Group for the management of bookstores throughout the statewide college system. It is a new three-year contract effective July, 2016.
The agreement reduces course material costs to the nearly 170,000 students attending Ivy Tech each year, saving students $3 million annually in course materials. This agreement also expands the digital options for students and faculty and allows the College to work directly with publishers to provide digital content.
Several factors contributed to the changes that were made to the previous contract, signed in 2007. One of those factors included the College’s Student Government Association asking leadership to focus on decreasing textbook costs as the top priority within a new contract. A study completed last year showed 20 percent of Ivy Tech students purchase course materials from somewhere other than Ivy Tech’s bookstores. Much of this can be attributed to the number of online competitors and students looking for lower cost alternatives. A committee led by the college’s Chief Procurement Officer Emily Styron and Chief Financial Officer Chris Ruhl helped to negotiate the new contract that focuses on reducing student costs.
“As we looked at our students’ purchasing habits, it was clear we needed to make significant changes to improve the affordability of course materials. The changes are a result of tremendous teamwork by campus leadership, vice presidents, regional academic officers, and leadership at Follett. Follett has done a terrific job ensuring the needs of our students are the top priority,” said Ruhl.
The new contract terms that will benefit students include price matching, a simplified pricing structure, and additional flexibility for digital materials. Price matching allows students to price match materials they find for lower prices at other retailers and Follett will honor that matching price. In addition a new simplified pricing policy eliminates charges for freight and other fees while holding the gross margin at a certain percentage. Finally, the College will have the ability to negotiate with publishers to provide digital content to students. Ivy Tech will also expand the use of Open Education Resources to allow students to save even more.
Follett Higher Education Group is a leading provider of bookstore services to pre-K and K-12 schools, districts, and college campuses. Follett serves more than half of the students in the United States, and works with 70,000 schools to provide education technology services in addition to print and digital content.
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system with campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.