College Course Materials Trends and Outlook 2018-2020


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

College Course Materials Trends and Outlook 2018-2020

The current climate in higher education remains volatile with key factors — such as enrollment and funding — continuing to be in flux. Due to the unsettled market landscape, educational publishers face unique challenges and opportunities in the years ahead.

College Course Materials Trends and Outlook 2018-2020 by Simba Information explores the changing dynamics in the higher education new course materials market and provides exclusive industry data & analysis.

Read this study to understand:

  • Projected student undergraduate enrollment by institutional type, 2015-2025
  • Potential concerns in state funding for higher education
  • Institutional re-thinking of curriculum
  • Course materials sales projections by segments for 2017-2020
  • Changing balance of print and digital media
  • Analysis of expected drivers behind industry changes over the next several years

The report also provides an overview of other influential trends educational publishers need to know about such as advances in competency-based education, the impact of open educational resources (OER), and the role of inclusive access agreements.

This new edition is the second in a series of annual reports that provide an overview of the changing market for instructional resources in higher education in the U.S. The first in the series, State of College Course Materials 2016-2017, was published in October 2017 and looked at the then-current landscape in the higher education industry.

Use the information in College Course Materials Trends and Outlook 2018-2020 to understand the major trends affecting higher education publishers, get out in front of market changes, and develop forward-looking strategies for your company.


  • Methodology
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
    • Season of Change
  • Student Enrollment
    • Greatest Growth: 2-Year Institutions, Part-Time Students
      • Table Projected Undergraduate Enrollment by Institution Type, 2015 vs. 2020 vs. 2025 (# in 000)
    • Steady but Uneven Distance Learning Growth
  • Federal & State Policy & Budget Initiatives
    • Tax Reform and Prospects for a Fiscal 2018 Budget
    • Net Neutrality Reversal
    • States Consider Budget Actions for Higher Education
      • Tuition Freeze Proposed in Arkansas
      • Funding Cuts in Iowa
      • Boost in Funding, New Community College Planned in California
  • Institutional Changes
    • Focus on Student Outcomes
      • Student Outcomes Drive Funding in Arkansas
      • Georgia Looks to Boost Graduation Rate
    • Re-Thinking Curriculum
      • Rollins Adjusts Liberal Arts Required Courses
      • Facilitating Employable Skills in Business at Brigham Young University-Idaho
      • Exploring English Department Changes
      • Changes to Biology, English Majors at University of Richmond
    • Institutional Strategic Change
      • Purdue University Global Nears Final Approval
      • UMass Plans to Cross State Lines Online
      • University of Wisconsin System Reorganizes
  • OER, Direct Access and Publisher Strategies
    • OER Inroads
      • Table Proportion of Faculty Requiring Particular Materials for Their Courses, 2017
      • OpenStax develops and Partners for More Resources
      • OER Degree Initiative
      • Publishers See Mixed Impact from OER
    • Publishers Move Forward with Digital Agendas
      • Pearson Is Trading Better
      • McGraw-Hill Sees Stabilization and Share Gain
      • Cengage Pushes Core Standalone Digital Strategy
      • Wiley Education Publishing Surprises on the Plus Side
    • Going Direct to the Customer
      • University of Florida Expands All Access
      • Cengage Inclusive Access Program Doubles
      • Pearson and McGraw-Hill Education See Gains
      • Cengage Launches Subscription Mode
    • Alternatives to Tradition Proliferate
      • FlatWorld Repositions
      • Textbooks Should Not Cost More Than $20
      • New Marketplace from Top Hat
      • Barnes & Noble Education Offers Varied Education Services
  • Conclusions & Outlook
    • Conclusions
      • Enrollment
      • Policy and Funding
      • Higher Education Mission Debates
      • Industry Strategies
        • Table U.S. Higher Education Course Materials Sales, August and Year-to-Date, 2017 vs. 2016 ($ in 000,000)
    • Looking Ahead
      • Ongoing Issues
        • Table Sales Forecast by Segment of Key College Course Materials 2016-2020P
      • Projections

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