- To reduce textbook costs for its students, Southern New Hampshire University reworked its contract with the company that runs its physical and online bookstores, Follett Higher Education, forgoing the commission that the university once took from Follett.
- An internal analysis provided to Inside Higher Ed reported that the university had been receiving an 11% commission (12% once sales exceeded $4 million), and that the university made $500,000 from that commission during the 2011-2012 academic year.
- Internal survey data suggesting that 49% of SNHU students bought textbooks somewhere other than the university or didn't buy them at all was a driving force behind the university's push for lower textbook prices, and SNHU has also notified Follett that it will be ending its current bookstore contract and soliciting a new bookstore vendor.
From the article:
When it comes to textbook costs, publishers are often seen as owning all the levers. But Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) recently decided to take a novel approach to reducing textbook costs for its students by reworking its contracts not with the companies that sell books, but rather those that control the bookstores. The crucial step in this effort for SNHU, which operates both a traditional undergraduate campus and a lucrative array of online programs, was forgoing the commission it took in past years from the company that ran its physical and online bookstores, Follett Higher Education. ...