Press Release

University of the District of Columbia Partners with Follett ACCESS to Offer Free Course Materials through CARES ACT Funding

October 27, 2021

WESTCHESTER, ILL., Oct 27, 2021 – Follett, the nation’s leader in academic solutions and innovative campus retail, has proudly partnered with the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) for nearly 23 years.  This year, like several other Follett partner campuses across the nation, UDC delegated a portion of funding received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to cover students’ course material costs.

The process of covering these costs was streamlined thanks to the school’s participation in Follett ACCESS, a program that enables colleges and universities to deliver all course materials – textbooks, courseware, lab kits, supplies, etc. – as part of tuition or course charges. The UDC Follett ACCESS program was launched in 2020 using a model that charged students an additional amount per credit hour for course materials, most of which were delivered in digital format. This year, with CARES Act funding, UDC is covering that additional cost for students.

“When UDC implemented Follett ACCESS last year, they made it clear they were committed to lowering costs and improving access for students – especially during a time when many were struggling to continue their education,” said Brent Smith, group vice president of retail operations at Follett.  “By focusing on digital content, UDC also gave their students the convenience and flexibility needed to thrive in today’s learning environment.”

Nearly 300 Follett partner campuses are participating in some form of Follett ACCESS, which has proven to save students up to 30 percent on course materials thanks to Follett’s bulk-purchasing ability.  Not only that, the program is sparking impressive academic outcomes – including better classroom performance, improved grade point averages and higher retention rates. Faculty are singing its praises, too, with the freedom to choose content from more than 6,000 publisher partners and the ability to better engage with students who are fully prepared for class.

“Follett ACCESS is our way of directly addressing the rising costs of education while still ensuring students have the right materials, at the right time, and in the right format that makes sense for their academic journeys,” said Roe McFarlane, president of Follett Higher Education.  “We’re thrilled to see partners like UDC take the program even further with CARES Act funding and digital access in order to give students a leg up this fall.”

More than 900 course material titles from 60 Follett publisher partners were procured for the Follett ACCESS program at UDC this year.  For more information on Follett ACCESS, including program details, benefits and case studies, visit To shop UDC merchandise and learn more about UDC Campus Store offerings, visit

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About University of the District of Columbia |

University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is the only public university in Washington, D.C. and the only exclusively urban land-grant university in the United States. The University is a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) that emerged from a school established by abolitionist Myrtilla Miner in 1851. Committed to a broad mission of education, research and service that enriches the community and attracts students and faculty from around the world, the University offers multiple points of entry through its associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and law degrees and workforce development programs.  The University has a College of Arts and SciencesCollege of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences;  School of Business and Public AdministrationSchool of Engineering and Applied SciencesDavid A. Clarke School of LawCommunity College and Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning. Learn more at

About Follett Higher Education Group | 
FHEG is a prominent and historic omnichannel retailer and educational service provider that operates over 1,100 campus store locations and 1,250 ecommerce campus store websites. Currently ranked #57 on Digital Commerce 360’s 2021 Top 1000, Follett provides emblematic and non-emblematic general merchandise and course materials within the higher education marketplace.

FHEG serves both two-year and four-year colleges through long-term contracts with approximately 800 campus partners. FHEG manages the institution’s online and in-store channels to assort and sell a wide array of merchandise and services that support students, faculty, campus administration, alumni, and the surrounding community. We enable faculty to teach, students to learn, institutions to run and fans to celebrate. 

About Follett Corporation |
Follett Corporation is the world’s largest single source of educational materials, digital content, ecommerce, and multi-media for libraries, schools and institutions. Headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, Follett provides education technology, services and physical and digital content to millions of students at 70,000 schools, and more than 2,700 physical locations and campus eCommerce platforms in North America. Through our Baker & Taylor division, Follett’s reach also extends to the public library markets.

Media Contact:
Follett Higher Education

Samantha Swick, Director of Marketing and Communications

University of the District of Columbia
Leeann Hall, Vice President, Marketing and Communications