University of Missouri system works to lower textbook costs for students

Close up of books on desk in library.

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Friday, November 16, the UM Board of Curators approved a major partnership with Cengage, one of the largest textbook publishers in the United States, in an effort to save students hundreds of dollars in textbook expenses for their 2019 classes.

“We’re fully engaged in battling the problem of student debt,” UM System President Mun Choi said. “This year, many of our students were able to go to college and pay less than they did last year, and we continue to look for cost savings. This new partnership with Cengage will help us continue to find ways to lower the cost of a high-quality college education.”

This partnership with Cengage means that students across the UM System will have unlimited access to more than 22,000 digital course materials through Cengage Unlimited, Cengage’s subscription service.

This subscription service is only approximately $50 each semester, opposed to costs that can exceed $300 for a single textbook, and includes eBooks, online homework access codes and study guides.

Students taking one or more courses that use Cengage materials will pay only $50 for the semester, regardless of the number of courses they are taking, potentially saving them hundreds of dollars in textbook expenses each year.

Officials estimate that approximately 40,000 UM students are taking courses that use materials published by Cengage and that more than 70 subjects across the four universities will be impacted.

“Paying for course materials is a top financial stressor for students, and we applaud the UM System for making these affordable resources available,” said Fernando Bleichmar, chief product officer at Cengage. “With Cengage Unlimited, faculty have another option to make a real impact on lowering student costs using our high-quality course materials. This agreement ensures students will have what they need on day one to be successful in class – without significant expense and stress to find course materials.”

Steve Graham, senior associate vice president for academic affairs, says this partnership will save their students a total of $3million each year.