Majority of students are acquiring at least some of their course materials according to the Fall 2014 Student Watch study, as only 0.6% of students claimed they did not acquire any course materials— not even by renting, borrowing, or downloading.
Most students reported acquiring the majority of their course materials in a window spanning from several weeks before classes begin to the first week of class.
For “early birds,” who shopped ahead by two weeks to more than a month before classes started, the campus store’s website was their No. 1 preferred source, followed by Amazon. The main factors that influenced their choice were return policies, the ability to use financial aid, easy online navigation, and being certain they’d have their materials before classes began.
For “rush shoppers,” who acquired their materials between a week ahead of classes to the first week of classes itself, the physical college store was their top source, thanks to its convenient location and knowledgeable staff, along with the ability to apply financial aid and save time.
“Slow starters,” who got hold of their content more than a week into class, also listed the college store as their No. 1 preferred retailer, followed by online textbook-renter Chegg.
Source: Student Watch: Attitudes and Behaviors toward Course Materials, Fall 2014, underwritten by the NACS Foundation