Press Release

Equity-based Follett ACCESS Program Delivers on Student Well-being, Academic Success and Course Materials Affordability

August 01, 2022

Transformative all-inclusive course materials program continues to see year-over-year growth while yielding positive student outcomes.

WESTCHESTER, ILL., Aug 1, 2022 – Follett Higher Education, North America’s largest campus retailer, today announced its powerful and groundbreaking Follett ACCESS program continues to gain momentum and improve student outcomes on more than 330 college campuses throughout its network. As today’s educational landscape continues to change, Follett ACCESS remains a viable and effective program that truly transforms the way course materials are delivered.  The program ensures students have the right materials before class starts – setting them on an even playing field with their classmates and ultimately setting them up for academic success.

According to Dr. Joe May, Chancellor Emeritus of Dallas College, who helped implement one of Follett Higher Education’s most successful and largest ACCESSS programs at Dallas College, “Follett ACCESS is about student achievement as it removes barriers, confusion, and friction for students. The benefit of having their learning materials available before class increases students’ chances of success. Additional benefits include greater convenience, on-time access, and cost savings for students.”

Continued Growth
Follett continues to see impressive year-over-year growth with the program. Since 2017 alone, Follett has increased its overall program total by 252 percent.  When looking at 2021 stats compared to the previous year, participating stores increased by 15 percent and participating students increased by 20 percent.  Digital materials ordered increased by 26 percent, largely due to a shift to online learning, allowing for greater savings and flexibility for students. 

This fall, nearly half of the new Follett ACCESS programs will be implemented campus-wide, otherwise referred to as “Equitable ACCESS”.  Course-by-course ACCESS programs remain a popular option, too, with institutions across the network choosing to apply the program to the courses that make sense for their students.  Both options continue to see growth.  To date, the entire Follett ACCESS program spans more than 1,800 campus terms, 140,000 sections, goes to more than 1.3 million students, includes 3.6 million course material orders and partners with 1,800 publishers.

Over the life of the Follett ACCESS program, students have saved tremendously – up to 80% per student – in addition to getting stress-free access to the right materials, at the right time. In a 2022 Student Survey conducted by Follett, 80 percent of students said it was a disadvantage if they couldn’t afford their required course materials, and 40 percent said it impacted their performance in class by increasing anxiety and stress when they didn’t have the necessary course materials for class.

“I definitely think the Follett ACCESS program made it easier to succeed, specifically because it relieved the stress of trying to find the book in the beginning of the semester,” said Elijah Crawford, a student at Southern University and A&M College.

Why Students Prefer Follett ACCESS
Improved Academic Outcomes:  For the Virginia Community College System, pilot statistics revealed a 10-plus percent improvement in A/B/C grades earned year-over-year, more than a seven percent decrease in D/F grades and an almost four percent decrease in ”W” grades when students had access to content on the first day of class through Follett ACCESS (Follett ACCESS + Alamo Colleges District and Virginia Community College System, 2019).

Equitable Success for Black Students:  In a recently published research paper by Dr. Mike Moore at the University of New Hampshire, the use of an equitable access course materials model has a significant impact on course completion rates (grades A through D) with disproportionally positive impact for traditionally underrepresented student groups (Moore, 2022). This study examined the relationship between a student’s participation status and course completion rate. It was revealed that Black students who did not opt out of the equitable access program were 21% more likely to complete a course. Further research by Dr. Moore indicates increases in success rate (grades A through C) of 13% for Black students in pre and post inclusive access course materials model implementation populations (Moore, 2021Moore & Piazza, 2022).

Better Access and Preparation: In a University of Houston Cougar Textbook ACCESS program Spring 2022 Pilot, 92 percent of nearly 5,000 participating students said they would rather register for a class where course materials are included as part of the class. Close to 82 percent would prefer the university offer all their classes as part of the Cougar Textbook Access Program (Follett ACCESS).

“In the future, if I ever have the choice for my course materials to be included in a class or not, I would definitely choose for my course materials to be included because it saves me so much money,” said Robert Schrader, a student at California State University, Northridge

“Our inclusive course materials program, Follett ACCESS, has revolutionized the course materials journey and the higher education industry since it was first brought to market in 2012,” says FHE President Ryan Petersen. “What makes the program so significant is not only the way it targets access and affordability, but how it genuinely impacts a student’s overall sense of well-being, preparedness and confidence in the classroom. The outcomes speak for themselves. Follett ACCESS is helping students achieve their learning objectives with a solution that makes learning more accessible and less stressful.”

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About Follett ACCESS
Follett ACCESS is a course materials and distribution model that embraces technology, affordability, and equity –allowing for greater retention, recruitment, student well-being and accessibility. It levels the playing field for all students by providing all required course materials to students for one equal price to all students on an opt-out basis billed to their student account. Instructors have complete academic freedom to select whatever materials are best for student learning in their course, including Open Educational Resources (OER). All digital content is accessible directly in the school Learning Management System (LMS) (e.g. Blackboard, Canvas, Moodle) on the first day of class and listed in the course registration system.

About Follett Higher Education | 
Follett Higher Education is a prominent and historic omni channel retailer and educational service provider supporting students, faculty, campus administration, alumni, and the surrounding community. Currently ranked #66 on Digital Commerce 360’s 2022 Top 1000 list, with more than 1,100 physical and 1,750 eCommerce collegiate retail stores across North America. It is one of the world’s largest sources of physical and digital academic content as well as emblematic collegiate merchandise from more than 6,000 publishers and merchandise partners to millions of students. Known for its inclusive access program, Follett ACCESS, Follett is changing equitable access to course materials on more than 300 campuses and growing every day. At Follett Higher Education, we enable faculty to teach, students to learn, institutions to run and fans to celebrate. 

Media Contact:
Follett Higher Education
Samantha M. Swick, VP, Public Relations and Campus Marketing
708.307.1099 |