The Direct Network

4 Reasons Course Material Fee Solutions Are Not as Scary as You Think

Posted by Dean Asher on May 17, 2016 4:30:00 AM
Topics: Higher Ed, Direct Success, course material fee

Every industry has its bogeymen that go bump in the night and threaten to disrupt business. Course materials have had their fair share, and one of them is a fulfillment model that is gaining a lot of popularity in recent years: The course material fee program. You might have heard some campfire stories about programs requiring restrictive long-term contracts and earning the ire of students who felt they were forced to acquire their materials and couldn’t choose formats or look for a better deal... but don’t worry: It’s not as scary as it seems.

MBS Direct’s course material fee model, Direct Success, ensures most of your students get their course materials before the start of class and increases their probability of success — without sacrificing freedom of choice for you or your students.


1. Your students aren’t trapped in a fulfillment dungeon

Federal mandates require programs to allow students to opt out of any program designed to automatically order their course materials for them and bill them later as a part of their tuition or related course fees. This way, you don't need to worry that students will have negative opinions of your program because they're forced to use a certain format or prevented from shopping elsewhere.

That's why Direct Success takes things a step further by making it easy to opt out.

Students who don't wish to participate in your course material fee program merely sign into a website, where MBS Direct guides them through a simple opt-out process. We even provide those students with a link to an Online Bookstore so they can easily shop and acquire their required course materials if they wish.

2. Your students aren’t haunted by forced format

You might have heard that your fulfillment provider will pick whether students buy or rent their title, and whether they receive print or digital versions. That’s not true with Direct Success: Students still can choose what they want!

Once you enable the Direct Choice program within Direct Success, students log into a personalized website prepopulated with their class schedule, so they can easily select their preference of format. If your students want to rent their titles to save more up front, they can. If they’d rather buy to get money at the end of the term through buyback or use the title again, that’s an option. If they’d rather go paperless, eBooks and other digital materials are available as well.

(Plus, this means faculty have the academic freedom to choose from MBS Direct’s catalog — that's hundreds of thousands of titles. Everyone wins!)

3. Your school is not under hypnosis

There are no mad scientists calling the shots for your program here — from academic freedom to pricing to delivery, your school has complete control. The fact that Direct Success doesn’t require restrictive, long-term contracts means your program can try implementing a course material fee model without sacrificing academic freedom. MBS Direct bills your institution for the cost of course materials at a significant discount, but it’s entirely up to you if you bill students by course, term, program or title. (If you want suggestions on how to choose which model to implement, our team of experts are more than happy to help!)

MBS Direct automatically sends students’ materials directly to their listed address — unless you choose otherwise, of course. You can still have books sent to the school for distribution. You also determine the dates students’ materials will be shipped, ensuring they arrive on time for your term’s start date.

4. SIS integrations are not a nightmare from which you can't wake up

Trying to utilize any new system or program is a terror if it can't communicate effectively with other departments on campus. Thankfully, Direct Success is streamlined to integrate with your school's student information services (SIS). Enrollment and Registrar's information and more is all automatically and seamlessly communicated to MBS Direct to ensure students are getting the right titles for their classes and being charged appropriately, without additional work for your staff.

Is a Course Material Fee Program Right for Your Students?

About Dean Asher

Dean Asher is a former copywriter with MBS. Though he no longer writes for us, he is still proud of having helped this blog continue to evolve as an industry-leading resource of news and original content.

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