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State of College Course Materials 2017-2018


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

State of College Course Materials 2017-2018

The first report in the College Course Materials Market Trends & Forecast series from Simba Information presents an overview of the changing market for instructional resources in higher education in the U.S., including current market conditions and the competitive landscape.

In this edition, State of College Course Materials 2017-2018, Simba Information provides both sizing and context for the market segments of new course materials including new textbooks (print), digital media (including etextbooks) and used textbooks.

Additional topics include:

  • Student enrollment data and demographics
  • Degrees of choice
  • Costs of attending college in 2017-2018
  • Regulation reform under the Trump administration
  • Free tuition programs
  • Student spending on course materials
  • Demand for digital media
  • Open source textbooks
  • Where students are buying course materials
  • The state of the textbook rental market

The expert insights provided in this report will help higher education publishers and education industry leaders make informed decisions as they build strategic plans and craft new growth initiatives.


  • Methodology
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
    • Table The Beloit College Mindset List, Class of 2022 (Most students born in 2000; selected facts)
  • Market Size & Structure
    • Institution Types and Numbers
      • For-Profit/Nonprofit Split among Private Institutions
        • Table Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions, 2016-2017
      • Two-Year vs. Four-Year
    • Where Students Are Enrolled
      • Table U.S. Undergraduate Enrollment by Characteristics, Fall 2000, 2010, 2016
      • Almost 80% of Students Attend Public Institutions
      • Enrollment Grows at Four-Year Institutions
      • Full-Time vs. Part-Time
      • Student Demographics
      • For-Profits Work on Improving Their Position
        • Table Simba Information Career College Enrollment Index
      • The Appeal of Distance Education
    • Degrees of Choice
      • Table Associate's and Bachelor's Degrees Awarded in 2015-2016 and Change from 2014-2015
    • Spring Term 2018
  • Policy & Funding
    • Introduction
    • Costs of Attending College in 2017-2018
      • Table Undergraduate Tuition and Fees, 2017-2018 vs. 2016-2017
    • Federal Education Budget Passes
      • Table Selected Appropriations for Postsecondary Education, FY 2018 - FY 2019 ($ in 000 except for Max Pell grant, which is actual)
      • $4.9M for Open Educational Resources
    • Regulation Reform Is Slow to Take Effect
    • Slowing State Support for Higher Education
      • Table State Fiscal Support for Higher Education, FY 2018 vs. FY 2017 ($ in 000,000)
      • Free-Tuition Programs Continue to Spread
        • Table Extent of Tuition-Free Programs across the States
  • Course Materials
    • Introduction
    • Student Spending on Course Materials Continues to Decline
      • Table College Student Spending Trends for Course Materials, Spring 2018
      • Health Predominates in Spending on Course Materials
    • Stability Returns to Publishers in 2017
      • Segmenting Industry Sales
        • Table Sales by Segment of Key College Course Materials 2016-2018P ($ in 000,000)
      • The Resilience of New Print Textbooks
      • Demand continues for Digital Media
        • Table Share of Media Used in College Courses, 2018P (% share based on $4.25 billion market)
    • Publishers Adjust to Changing Landscape
      • New Options Hit Pearson
        • Table Simba Information's Leading College Publishers by Revenue, 2017 vs. 2016 ($ in 000,000)
      • Rental Preference and Digital Hit Cengage Revenue
      • New Copyrights Help Mitigate at McGraw-Hill Education
      • Wiley Continues to Invest in Education
      • Increasing Digital Metrics
        • Table Publishers' U.S. Higher Education Digital Metrics, 2017
      • More Digital Progress in H1 2018
    • OER Continues to Make Headway in College Market
      • Cengage Launches OpenNow
      • Macmillan Launches OER Course Service
      • Carnegie Learning Partners with OpenStax in Developmental Math
      • OpenStax Continues OER Growth
  • Distribution
    • Introduction
    • Competitive Campus Store Landscape
      • Table Campus Stores Remain the Top Source for Course Materials
      • Table College Bookstore Operators
      • Follett Is Largest Campus Bookstore Operator
      • Barnes & Noble Moves into Student Services
      • Amazon Tempers Move on Campus
      • Shifting Campus Store Landscape
        • Table Changing College Bookstore Landscape for Fall 2018 Term
      • Ed Map Provides a Cautionary Tale
    • Publishers Assert More Control of Sales & Distribution
      • Publishers Enter the Textbook Rental Market
        • Table Publishers' College Textbook Consignment-Rental Initiatives, 2017-2018
      • Publishers Grow eCommerce
      • Publishers Expand Inclusive Access
      • Cengage Unlimited Goes Live

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