With estimates as high as $1,200 US per year that college students spend on textbooks alone, digital educational content leader CourseSmart is unveiling its newest feature, aimed at easing that burden to some extent. The CourseSmart Subscription Packs, launched in time for students to return to school in the fall and take full advantage, stands to slash that price figure by as much as 66 percent.
The Subscription Packs, which let students select titles from CourseSmart’s catalog of over 40,000 digital textbooks, will cost students right at $200 for a “bookshelf” of six titles. The subscription allows students to have unlimited access to their bookshelves for 150 days, long enough for a full semester. The bookshelf is accessible online, offline, and through all of CourseSmart’s smartphone and tablet-specific mobile apps.
“Digital course materials have always provided cost-savings and convenience for students, and we are taking those benefits a step further with CourseSmart Subscription Packs,” said Sean Devine, CEO of CourseSmart, in a statement about the new subscription feature. “This flat-fee model offers students maximum convenience and affordability, ensuring they have everything they need to be successful during the semester while keeping extra money in their wallets.”
Apart from the typical search, highlight, and share features that have made a number of student consumers embrace digital editions, one draw for this type of program is that it is not university-specific. Students have the option to sign up with CourseSmart on their own, regardless of any form of agreement with the institution. By making it available to individual users without the need for a partnership agreement with an entire school, students have far more flexibility in selecting digital textbooks without having to wait for educational bureaucracy to catch up to digital publishing.