Over the last five years, Inclusive Access has gone from a little known sales model to the textbook industry’s dominant strategy. SPARC has heard consistent concerns from our community that while Inclusive Access is intended to help with high textbook costs, it brings a host of new challenges for students and faculty: from limited choices to confusing processes to disappearing savings.
Today we are pleased to join with other partners in the higher education community to announce the launch of a new website called InclusiveAccess.org: an initiative to raise awareness of the facts about automatic textbook billing. Read on for the official announcement from InclusiveAccess.org.
The price of college textbooks have skyrocketed over the past 30 years. Two-thirds of college students say that they’ve delayed buying a textbook because it was too expensive—even though 90% of those students worry that not having the textbook will affect their course grade. In addition, more than 80% of faculty agree that the cost of course materials is a serious problem.
Against this backdrop, a new sales model known as Inclusive Access has taken off. Also known as automatic textbook billing, this model adds the cost of digital course content into students’ tuition and fees. Hardly known five years ago, one in three college students reported participating in at least one Inclusive Access course during the 2020-21 academic year.
How exactly does Inclusive Access work? Does it really really save students money? What about this kind of program is “inclusive”? Straightforward answers to these questions aren’t always easy to find.
InclusiveAccess.org is a community-driven initiative to raise awareness of the facts about automatic textbook billing. The site aims to be a one-stop-shop for information, tools, and other resources to help administrators, faculty, students, and policymakers make informed decisions about Inclusive Access and its implications for the campus community.
InclusiveAccess.org was developed by SPARC with generous support from the Michelson 20MM Foundation. Partners include AAC&U, Creative Commons, DigiTex, Student PIRGs, Open Education Global, and OpenStax.
Check back at InclusiveAccess.org regularly for the latest news, facts, and case studies on Inclusive Access, as well as additional tools and resources.