Bay Tree Campus Store partnership with Akademos paving the way for more affordable course materials

The new online bookstore, launched in partnership with UCSC’s Bay Tree Campus Store and Akademos, a premier provider of higher education course content, is in full swing this fall—and the savings are already stacking up. Students have saved $79,861 on textbooks and course materials in fall quarter alone, and $150,961 since the initial launch in spring. 

Led by the growing preference among students and faculty for digital textbooks and course materials, rental textbooks, and access to Open Educational Resources (OER), UCSC pursued this partnership to provide for the evolving needs of the student body and faculty. Thanks to negotiated savings, UCSC students receive the lowest prices on textbooks and course materials. 

In addition to reduced costs, an exciting new need-based scholarship program available to students will provide funds towards textbooks and course materials—with a total of $20,000 per year allocated and awarded between all students. "The Bay Tree Campus Store is thrilled to partner with Financial Aid, University Library Services, and Akademos to award these financial scholarships to deserving undergraduate and graduate students,” says Doug Lang, Director of the Campus Store. “We are so fortunate to work with these organizations in strong support of our students.”

Akademos also supports an online Marketplace that allows for peer-to-peer selling, and reseller pricing on new and used titles. Other benefits for UCSC students include:

  • Personalized landing pages displaying all required and recommended materials for registered courses in one spot
  • An extensive supply of new, used, and rental options—more than any individual bookstore could offer
  • Increased access to digital materials and OER
  • Free shipping on qualifying orders over $49, excluding Marketplace purchases

Faculty and staff are also seeing benefits from the partnership—robust search and review capabilities and real-time pricing and availability indicators are making the process of selecting materials easier and more efficient. Instructors have the ability to see pricing as they select their materials, and can preview courses to see final student pricing and format options before it goes in front of students via their portal. A dedicated Course Material Strategist is available at the Bay Tree Campus Store to provide assistance as needed.

In the coming year, the Campus Store will continue to evaluate the new virtual store and implement improvements to provide the lowest cost options to all students. The launch of Inclusive Access will provide faculty members with new tools and features to engage with students and improve learning outcomes. Inclusive Access will also give students immediate access to materials and further reduce coursebook costs. 

The addition of Equitable Access options will also be explored, and the Campus Store will continue to partner and learn with other UC campuses where these programs have been very successful. Ongoing collaboration with the University Library will focus on implementing programs that help ensure all students have access to savings on textbooks and course materials.